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Deadly Fever in France
French researchers have identified a diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, carried in France by citizens returning from an area around the Indian Ocean. The "Chikungunya" virus, for which there is no known cure, killed so far 77 people in La Reunion, an island on the Southern coast of Africa. Officials said that 20% of the inhabitants of the island are now infected with the disease. Francois Bricaire, head of the infectious diseases service at a hospital in Paris, stated: "We have people returning from La Reunion who have symptoms of chikungunya and their diagnoses has been confirmed. It's not surprising, quite simply because of the contacts between the island of La Reunion and mainland France." People returning from that island have now symptoms of the "Chikungunya" virus, so far 30 confirmed cases. The disease only transmitted through mosquitoes, causes high fever and severe rashes; though painful, most of the infected people recover from it. Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said that the mosquito carrying the virus could be present in the South-East part of France, but gave no further information. The virus infected so far in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, 962 people. Following the confirmed case of bird flu at turkeys on a farm in France, the spread of the virus will increase the authorities' concern about the public health. Dominique de Villepin, France's prime minister, is already facing pressure about his failure in preventing the spread of the disease. Chikungunya surfaced in East Africa, in 1952; the virus weakens the immune system, giving the opportunity of other diseases to set in.

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