Trending News Today: Rare Diseases Affect Approximately 4% of World Population

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Based on prevalence, a new analysis suggests that rare diseases, when taken into account together, are not that rare, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, a study of more than 3585 rare diseases found that between 3.5% and 5.9% of the population worldwide are affected, based on the point prevalence estimates for 67.6% of rare diseases included in the study. The study authors noted that the majority of rare diseases are not traceable in health care system and improvements in recording precise diagnoses would help with future estimates, the article reported.

The first use of the gene editing tool CRISPR against cancer in 3 patients appears to be safe so far, although it is still unclear if it will improve survival, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, physicians were able to take immune system cells from the patients’ blood and alter them genetically to help recognize and fight cancer, with minimal and manageable effects. After 2 to 3 months, 1 patient’s cancer continued to worsen and another was stable, whereas the third patient was treated too recently to know what the effects will be, the article reported.

The CDC has reported 2051 confirmed and probable cases and 2 more deaths from a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping, bringing the total death toll to 39, Reuters reported. According to the article, the CDC last week cited 1888 cases and 37 deaths linked to the illness. As of November 5, 39 deaths have been confirmed in 24 states and the District of Columbia, the article reported.