Are fans aware of this deadly disease?
Former England and British & Irish Lions player John Bentley, full-time carer of Japanese Encephalitis survivor Robert Annewandter, speaks about the disease that could be a potential threat to World Cup fans.
He is working with the charity the Encephalitis Society to raise awareness of the condition.
Robert’s partner Sophie contracted Japanese Encephalitis while researching the illegal trade in orchids in Bangkok.
She now lives in a care home for the elderly, is unable to move and is on a ventilator needing 24-hour care.
The vast majority of people have never heard of encephalitis, let alone Japanese, tick-borne or rabies encephalitis but they are some of the only forms that are vaccine-preventable.
Even scarier is that one in three people who contract Japanese Encephalitis will die.
With a month to go until the Japanese World Cup, both fans and players will be in full preparation mode, with the event expected to attract the largest ever number of foreign fans.
More than 600,000 of the 1.8 million available tickets expected to be held by international fans making the journey to Japan.
With a once in a lifetime event like this, months of preparation will have taken place both by fans and by players to ensure that nothing can go wrong. However, most fans will not have considered travel health and vaccination against deadly conditions contractable in the country.
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain, an often devastating condition that can lead to death and ‘acquired brain injury’. It can affect anyone of any age, ethnicity or sex yet eight in 10 (78 percent) people do not know what encephalitis is, let alone that some forms of encephalitis are vaccine-preventable, like Japanese encephalitis, rabies encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis.
Mass gatherings such as the Rugby World Cup can put a huge strain on host countries and the World Health Organisation and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have advised all those planning to travel to seek specialist travel health advice first. Rugby legend John Bentley, one of the greatest dual-code rugby players of his generation is supporting this campaign that encourages fans to ensure they are prepared for all eventualities, including seeking specialist travel health advice, in advance of the games.
The video not only discusses the Rugby World Cup and how the players will be preparing but also how fans can protect themselves whilst travelling.