An obscure illness, disease or condition affecting a comparatively small number of people, but with symptoms somewhat similar to one or more different and more common illnesses.
It is named because these diseases/conditions are sometimes misdiagnosed by well meaning (but often inexperienced) doctors when something far more common is actually the cause. Medical students are told "remember, if you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras".
Doctor 1 - "I think this patient may have Castleman's disease"
Doctor 2 - "Castleman's disease is a zebra, there are far more likely causes of his fever and weight loss."
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