Chandipura virus: A virus that causes fever, symptoms similar to those of flu, and acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Chandipura virus was first isolated in 1965 in a village in Maharashtra State, India. Since then, the virus has been reported in adjoining states in central India. The likely vector (carrier) of the virus is the female phlebotomine sandfly. The virus has been detected in sandflies in Senegal and Nigeria as well as in India. In 2003 Chandipura virus was responsible for an outbreak in southern India in which 329 children developed acute encephalitis and 183 died. The disease progressed rapidly from an influenza-like illness to coma and death. Chandipura virus is a member of the Vesiculovirus genus of the family Rhabdoviridae. This virus should be considered as an important emerging pathogen.