Famous buildings, bridges and monuments around the globe turned red yesterday to raise awareness and show support for World Encephalitis Day.   The CN Tower in Toronto Canada, Niagara Falls, the Blackpool Tower, the fountains at Trafalgar Square in London and the Swan Bell Tower in Perth, Australia were among the many iconic landmarks that were lit up in red to show support and raise awareness. Kilmarnock’s Flower Clock also played a role in raising awareness and was lit up on the evening of the 22nd February, which is now globally known as World Encephalitis Day.


Yesterday was the fourth World Encephalitis Day to raise awareness for the condition which effects over 500,000 people globally each year.  The condition, Encephalitis, is an inflammation of the brain, which can be caused by infection or the immune system mistakenly attacking the brain. Anyone at any age can develop the serious condition, which often begins with flu-like symptoms.


Local Kilmarnock woman, Pauline Murray, was unparalleled in raising awareness for World Encephalitis Day by telling her own recovery story. An ICU nurse at Crosshouse Hospital, she was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in the January of 2015. Pauline explained that when she first began to feel symptoms, her doctors believed she was suffering from stress: “The symptoms I experienced were very unusual; changes in my personality and feeling anxious. Physical symptoms were nausea, dizziness and tingling down my arm.”  She was referred to have an MRI scan and test by a fellow medical professional and it revealed that her immune system was attacking her brain.


She now is a crucial part of raising awareness around Ayrshire and Arran and says that her first-hand experience with the condition has helped when diagnosing and supporting her own patients.  Speaking to Pauline, she is confident in her recovery and feels energised to spread awareness and help the cause.  She said to STV: “I feel very lucky and privileged I have been able to make a good recovery and I’m in this position to raise awareness for other people who are going or potentially going through this process.” Pauline keeps her positive attitude and plans on running in the Roon The Toon 10k event that takes place in Kilmarnock on the 10th June this year to continue to raise awareness.


Encephalitis is a life-threatening condition, you can find more information on the NHS website: http: //www.nhs.uk/Conditions/encephalitis/Pages/introduction.aspx  and if you think you are suffering from any of the symptoms, it is important for you to speak to your local GP immediately.

Posted On

February 23, 2017


Charity, Health & Wellbeing

awareness, charity