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World Encephalitis Day 2021

World Encephalitis Day is the global awareness day for people who have been directly or indirectly affected by encephalitis. Founded by The Encephalitis Society in 2014, it is held on February 22 each year and has reached over 186 million people through media features, events and social media. It is our hope that it will play a leading role in our mission to increase global awareness of encephalitis and therefore saving lives and building better futures.

For this year's Lights Camera Action campaign we are lighting up over 90 global landmarks around the world and encouraging supporters to go #Red4WED by wearing red on Monday, 22nd February, and telling people about why it is important more people know about encephalitis.

Encephalitis Facts

  • Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain – a devastating neurological condition, which can leave survivors with a permanent brain injury.
  • 500,000 children and adults are affected by encephalitis every year, that is one person every minute.
  • There is low awareness of the condition – 78% of people do not know what encephalitis is - despite the fact that in many countries it has a higher incidence than multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease (ALS), bacterial meningitis, and cerebral palsy.
  • Symptoms of encephalitis vary but can include flu-like illness or headache, drowsiness, uncharacteristic behaviour, inability to speak or control movement, psychiatric manifestations, memory problems and seizures.
  • Death rates are high. Survivors can be left with an acquired brain injury resulting in a wide range of difficulties such as problems with memory and other cognitive skills, changes in personality, emotional and behavioural difficulties, epilepsy, fatigue and other physical difficulties which can make return to school, work, family and social life very challenging.

How Can I Help?

Become a free member of the Encephalitis Society and find out more about our work and receive all the latest news on campaigns such as World Encephalitis Day, Encephalitis Research Month, member events and our newsletters.

Make a donation and help to secure our future so we can help those who need our help and continue to raise awareness and fund research into encephalitis.

Share social media posts about World Encephalitis Day to help us raise awareness. Search for #WorldEncephalitisDay and #Red4WED on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn