• Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain
  • It is caused by an infection or through the immune system attacking the brain in error
  • Encephalitis is a neurological emergency
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives and improve outcomes 
  • It is more common in many countries than motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, bacterial meningitis and cerebral palsy
  • Anyone can be affected by encephalitis, irrespective of age, gender or ethnicity
  • It can have a high death rate and survivors might be left with an acquired brain injury and life-changing consequences
  • Most of the effects of encephalitis are hidden (invisible)
  • Encephalitis is a family affair which can be challenging for everyone concerned
  • In some cases, encephalitis can impact mental health, causing difficult to deal with emotions and behaviours, and can lead to thoughts of self-harm and even suicide

World Encephalitis Day

  • World Encephalitis Day on 22 February is a day which celebrates and honours the millions of lives affected by encephalitis, which is brain inflammation.
  • Encephalitis Society leads World Encephalitis Day every year and asks people to show their support by wearing red as part of their #Red4Wed campaign.
  • Since its launch in 2014, World Encephalitis Day has reached over 290 million people worldwide through social and traditional media.

Encephalitis Society

  • The Encephalitis Society is a multi-award-winning charity and the leading global resource providing support and information, raising awareness of the condition, and collaborating in research.
  • The Encephalitis Society is the principal organisation working with world-class scientists, researchers and global institutions to drive essential research into diagnosis, management, treatment and rehabilitation of the condition.

Become a member of the Encephalitis Society

You can help us move towards a world aware of encephalitis by making a £10 donation to support World Encephalitis Day today. Thank you. Donate Now

[1] * All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Sample sizes and 2021 field work dates varied according to country (Five countries were surveyed: UK, USA, Germany, India, and Australia). By people we mean adults (aged 18+) in the general public.  The 77% people statistic is a mean of the five countries surveyed and was calculated by The Encephalitis Society by identifying incorrect answers to the YouGov Plc survey question ‘in your own words, please type in the box below what you understand the word encephalitis to be/mean’ and reflecting this information in a recalculation of YouGov Plc’s question ‘yes I have heard of encephalitis and know what is it’.