Give encephalitis the Red Card at the Rugby World Cup

Are you travelling to the Rugby World Cup?

British Lions legend John Bentley is supporting a campaign to encourage rugby fans to seek appropriate travel health advice well before travelling to Japan.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is a major sporting event, with over 600,000 tickets expected to be held by international fans. Events where huge numbers of people gather, can place a strain on the resources of the hosts and can also contribute to the international spread of disease. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend travellers seek advice from travel health professionals before travelling to a mass gathering like the Rugby World Cup.

Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of the Encephalitis Society, said “ Travel health is important and this campaign encourages fans travelling to Japan for the RWC to seek specialist travel health advice appropriate to their plans and destinations.  Fans visiting additional countries in SE Asia or extending their stays in Japan, particularly into rural areas may have specific travel health needs, and vaccination against some forms of vaccine-preventable encephalitis, such as measles, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) may form part of that for some visitors".

If you live in the UK – find your nearest pharmacy travel clinic clinic finder 

If you live outside the UK – seek advice from an appropriate health professional

For general enquiries, contact us

#EncephalitisMatters #RWC2019 #rugby

This project was kindly funded by an educational grant from Valneva

This project is supported by a charitable donation from Pfizer Ltd


[1] Brazil - Health advice for travellers to the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2016 (, accessed 1 September 2017).

[1] Gaines J, Brunette GW. Travel to mass gatherings. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2017 (https://wwwnc.cdc. gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/advising-travelers-with-specific-needs/travel-to-mass-gatherings).

August 2019 Awareness Campaign

We recently began a travel health awareness campaign, encouraging fans travelling to the Rugby World Cup in Japan to stay safe by seeking specialist travel health advice before leaving for the games.  Some media coverage of this important campaign has focused on travel vaccinations which may be appropriate for some travellers but our campaign is much broader, encompassing travel health issues fans or holidaymakers can encounter when travelling overseas.  We remain committed to supporting people affected by encephalitis, an often-devastating neurological condition.  To learn more please visit