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Chikungunya is a relatively rare form of viral fever caused by an alphavirus that is spread by mosquito bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito, though recent research by the Pasteur Institute in Paris claims the virus has suffered a mutation that enables it to be transmitted by Aedes Albopictus (Tiger mosquito). This was the cause of the actual plague in the Indian Ocean and a threat to the Mediterranean coast at present, requiring urgent meetings of health officials of France, Italy and Spain, but nothing seems to be moving that way.
Chikungunya is generally not fatal. However, in 2005-2006, 200 deaths have been associated with chikungunya on Réunion island and a widespread outbreak in Southern India (especially in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Kerala and Andhra Pradesh). As of July 2006, Tamil Nadu reportedly had the largest number of cases, specifically centered around the southern districts of Madurai and Tirunelveli. The number of reported cases also registered a great increase in the districts of Salem, Chennai and Chengalpattu.