Kozhikode: A six-year-old boy, who was being treated for West Nile Virus (WNV) disease in the south Indian state of Kerala, died on Monday, said Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja.
The boy hailing from Malappuram district was under treatment for fever at the state-run Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode since earlier in March.
He was diagnosed with WNV last week, after tests conducted at the Christian Medical College hospital, that turned out to be positive.
Following doubts of WNV, the Centre had dispatched a multi-disciplinary team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to assess the spread of WNV in Kerala.
The Union Health Ministry's decision came after the six-year-old was feared to be infected with WNV, a mosquito-borne disease mostly reported in the US.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda then reviewed the situation with Secretary Preeti Sudan and directed all support to be extended to Kerala for the prevention and management in the spread of the disease, his Ministry said.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also been alerted and a close watch is being maintained both at the central and state level.
There, however, are no reports of the spread of the virus to any other parts of the country.
West Nile fever is spread by Culex mosquitoes and the infection could be confirmed only if the second samples tests 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 that WNV is transmitted to humans through bites from mosquitoes which get infected when they feed on infected birds.
The Kerala health authorities have taken elaborate steps to tackle it.