The Centre has sent a team to Kerala, where a seven-year-old boy from Malappuram district has tested positive for the West Nile virus. The team will review the situation and also help the state in management of the infection, a government press release said on Thursday.

The virus is transmitted to human beings through a mosquito bite, according to the United States-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the infection. Around 20% of those who are infected develop a fever. About one out of 150 patients develop serious illness, which can sometimes be fatal, the organisation has said.

The child is under treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College and Hospital. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda spoke to Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja and is monitoring the situation closely, the press release said.

District Medical Officer K Zakeena said the virus was detected on March 8, Mathrubhumi reported. Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan spoke to Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan in Kerala and discussed public health measures taken for combating the virus, PTI reported.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has also been alerted about the case. “There are no reports available so far about the spread of this virus in other parts of the country,” the press release said.