World Encephalitis Day is over for another year – and what a fun day it was!

Things moved pretty fast on Thursday, 22nd February, with lots of news articles, social posts and landmarks supporting our global awareness day.

So, in case you have missed anything, we have put together a selection of highlights.


World Encephalitis Day Alliance Conference

This year’s festivities really began in Jacksonville, Florida, with the return of the World Encephalitis Day Alliance Conference.

The three-day event, supported by the Mayo Clinic, UCB and Arialys Therapeutics, featured a host of speakers, including Professor Sarosh Irani and Dr John Soltys, as well as talks from survivors of encephalitis.

The conference will be returning again next year – watch this space for more information.

We went head over heels for your #Red4WED photos

Hundreds of supporters donned their official #Red4WED t-shirts and other red-related clothing to raise awareness of encephalitis on social media. And what a handsome bunch you all are!

We have been busy adding them to our gallery which you can find below.

If you don’t see your photo, please get in touch and we will happily add it for you.

Alanna’s on a mission in Canada

Alanna – author of the Where are my Pillows encephalitis blog – was here, there, and everywhere in Edmonton on World Encephalitis Day!

Landmarks ahoy!

At the last count, nearly 240 landmarks in 29 countries lit up red to shine a light on encephalitis for World Encephalitis Day – and how beautiful they all looked! Click on the link below to view the gallery.

A mother's love

Charlene Singh’s daughter became poorly with anti-NMDAR encephalitis in July, 2023.

The devoted mum was determined to raise awareness of encephalitis and recruited the help of her friends and Umhlanga Hospital in Durban, South Africa. She put together this lovely #Red4WEd film.

Our survey says…

This year’s media campaign focused on a global survey commissioned by Encephalitis International which revealed that emergency medical professionals lack confidence in recognising encephalitis – risking delays in recognition, diagnosis and treatment. Read More

The findings of our survey resulted in a number of news articles with supporters sharing their story with the public.


A call for awareness in encephalitis

Dr Ava Easton, our Chief Executive, wrote to The Lancet Neurology to speak about World Encephalitis Day and our rebrand from Encephalitis Society to Encephalitis International at the end of last year.

Makenzie shares her story

Makenzie Webber, from Cairns in Australia, spoke to 7 News about becoming poorly with encephalitis as a 10-year-old. Now 16, she hopes her story will raise awareness among the medical community and general public.

Parents' tribute to Henry

Henry sadly passed away from encephalitis in 2019 – just weeks before his 9th birthday. His parents, Louise and Richard, sat down and told his story for World Encephalitis Day.

Our Appeal

The results of our World Encephalitis Day survey, and listening to stories such as Henry’s and Makenzie’s, made us realise that more training is needed for healthcare professionals.

It led to our biggest ever appeal, subtitled: Don’t Delay. Give Today.

Donations made to our appeal will be used to develop accessible training opportunities for doctors and nurses around the world.

A Tough Mudder for a tough mother

Our Ambassador George Clarke took to social media to talk about World Encephalitis Day and his upcoming plans!




@georgeclarkeeyAny support is massively appreciated, love you all x♬ original sound – George Clarke

Say cheese!

George was also interviewed by Smiley News for a feature on Encephalitis International in the run up to World Encephalitis Day.

Jackie and the Bismarck Brain Walkers

Jackie Stebbins became the Pied Piper of North Dakota when she organised a BrainWalk in her home town of Bismarck. Now in its fifth year, it asks locals to wear red and join her on a walk on World Encephalitis Day.

Karen says goodbye to ABC...

Award-winning sports broadcaster and Encephalitis International Ambassador, Karen Tighe, announced that she would be leaving ABC Australia to focus on her health.

Karen, who became poorly with HSV encephalitis four years ago, was a trailblazer for female sports broadcasters during her ABC career which began in 1989.

In this enjoyable interview, Karen sat down with long time colleague Quentin Hull, and a few special guests, to discuss her remarkable career.



... and hello to prison!

The day after her announcement, Karen met up with Rachael Schwarz and other supporters based in Perth, Australia, for a #Red4WED gathering at Freemantle Prison.

Doctors in the house

World Encephalitis Day always has great support from the global medical community – such as this lovely #Red4WED film from the Infection Neuroscience Lab team at the University of Liverpool and their family and friends.

Official recognition

Daniel McCrossan, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland, spoke about World Encephalitis Day to his parliamentary colleagues.

Elsewhere, Kat Langford secured proclamations from mayors across the state of Florida in support of World Encephalitis Day!


Behind the scenes at encephalitis HQ

Enjoy this quick look at the team working away in our offices on World Encephalitis Day – including the scene-stealing Jon Ainley, our Helpline Manager.

Thank you to our partners!

We have to give a big shout out to all our official partners whose generous support means World Encephalitis Day is very much a reality!

A final thank you

Everyone at Encephalitis International would like to say a huge thank you to everyone – wherever you may live – for all your generous support with raising awareness on World Encephalitis Day.

It is a day of emotion, humour, creativity, friendship and, above all, determination in shining a light on this devastating brain condition.

This was our 11th anniversary and each year it continues to steadily grow and reach more and more parts of the world.

Thank you!

The Encephalitis International team


Page Created: 22 February 2024
Last Modified: 27 February 2024
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