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Cloonavin lights up in red to highlight World Encephalitis Day

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Cloonavin will light up in red today (Monday 22nd February 2021), as Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council joins a global campaign to raise awareness about Encephalitis.

The initiative in support of World Encephalitis Day follows a request from Limavady woman Maria Matthews, who suffered brain injury after surviving the neurological condition.

Since her recovery in 2007 Maria now supports the Encephalitis Society and wants to raise awareness of this devastating infection.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding said: “Encephalitis can have a devastating impact on health and affects people at any age. Educating the public about this life-threatening brain condition is vital and I am proud that we are able to support Maria in raising awareness by making this gesture and joining the campaign.”

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused either by an infection invading the brain or through the immune system attacking the brain in error, with up to 6,000 cases in the UK each year.

Maria said: “I have first-hand knowledge and experience of the devastation that encephalitis can have on individuals and their families. By raising awareness we can educate the public about this life-threatening brain condition.

“Encephalitis affects 500,000 people globally each year – more than certain types of meningitis and motor neurone disease, yet few people have heard of it.

“The Encephalitis Society, of which I am a proud volunteer, wants to change this, and I’m grateful that Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is helping by supporting our annual campaign”

The Encephalitis Society works to raise public awareness about the disease, support those affected, and fund scientific research towards a cure.

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