Welcome to «spectra online»
"Spectra" has been reporting on the projects, programmes and strategies of the Federal Office of Public Health and its partners in the fields of health promotion and disease prevention since 1995. The online magazine of "spectra" sheds light on background developments (going beyond the contents of the printed version) and reports on current affairs.
The printed version is published in German, French and English, four times a year – in February, May, September and December.
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Rare diseases. In Switzerland some 500 000 people suffer from a rare disease. Between 7 000 and 8 000 such diseases exist. There are so many of them that they account for a quarter of illnesses worldwide and are thus as frequent as one of the most widespread diseases. How- ever, the lower the number of people suffering from a particular disease, the less we know about its causes, symptoms and treatment options. more
When the talk is of "rare diseases", we do not usually feel directly addressed: anything "rare" just affects others. But it is only the individual diseases that are rare. As a group, they are as common as diabetes. I too realised this only when we began drafting the National Rare Disease Policy. more
Genetic testing. Many rare diseases are of genetic origin, i.e. they can be inherited. Changes in an individual’s genetic make-up can now be demonstrated in the blood. Genetic analyses have to be accompanied by genetic counselling. However, the statutory health insurance (SHI) does not cover the often considerable cost of genetic testing in all cases. more