New Delhi, March 14 : The government on Thursday said it has dispatched a multi-disciplinary Central team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to assess the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Kerala.

The Health Ministry decision came after a seven-year-old boy from Malappuram district was reportedly diagnosed with WNV -- a mosquito-borne disease mostly reported in the US.

Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has reviewed the situation with Secretary Preeti Sudan and has directed for all support to be extended to Kerala for the prevention and management of the disease, the Union Ministry said.

Nadda is closely monitoring the situation, it added.

"The NCDC Central team includes Doctors Ruchi Jain RHO Trivandrum, Suneet Kaur, Assistant Director NCDC, E. Rajendran Entomologist NCDC Calicut and Binoy Basu, EIS Officer, NCDC. The team will support the state health authorities in managing the disease," the Ministry said in a statement.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also been alerted and a close watch is being maintained at the Central and state level. There are no reports of the spread of the virus to any other part of the country.

West Nile fever is spread by Culex mosquitoes and the infection could be confirmed only if the second samples test positive. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally a skin rash on the body, and swollen lymph glands.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the WNV is transmitted to humans through bites from mosquitoes which get infected when they feed on infected birds.

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