Nipah Virus To COVID-19: Why Kerala Is Ground Zero for India's Outbreaks

Nipah Virus To COVID-19: Why Kerala Is Ground Zero for India's Outbreaks
Nipah Virus To COVID-19: Why Kerala Is Ground Zero for India's Outbreaks

Scroll down to understand what makes Kerala the hub of all the virus outbreaks in the country.

Written by Satata Karmakar |Published : September 18, 2023 9:04 AM IST

Deadly coronavirus to Nipah, why it is always Kerala to witness the beginning of a new virus outbreak? In the last couple of months, we have seen this Indian state battle the initial surge of ready virus outbreaks, but ever wondered what makes Kerala the hub of such viruses? Let's check the facts closely.

While there can be hundreds of reasons why Kerala is always the hub of such deadly viruses, here are a few for you to under the state's vulnerability.

Nipah Virus: Understanding Kerala's Vulnerability to Outbreaks

There are a number of possible explanations for why this may be the case. Some of them include:

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The geographical placement of any state matters a lot when it comes to such outbreaks. Kerala is located on the southwestern coast of India, in a region that is home to a variety of bats, which are the natural hosts of many viruses (some of which are life-threatening). These viruses include the fatal Nipah virus and COVID-19. Additionally, Kerala has a warm and humid climate, which is ideal for many viruses to thrive. Therefore, the climate and weather together contribute a lot to such virus outbreaks in Kerala.


The state's climate is ideal for the correct agriculture of many different products. Kerala is the nation's primary location for producing fruits and vegetables, many of which are raised outdoors. By doing this, there is a higher chance that humans will become exposed to viruses that bats and other animals carry. Why? because fruits and vegetables are eaten by bats. The likelihood of these deadly bats reproducing increases in an area where fresh produce is readily available, which provides a motive for the virus to spread.


The next contributing factor is that in Kerala, it is common to drink raw date palm sap, which is a known risk factor for Nipah virus infection. For instance, amid a sudden surge in Nipah virus cases in the states, the officials have warned the locals against consuming raw date palms. Additionally, Kerala has a tradition of close contact between humans and animals, which can also increase the risk of disease transmission.

Population Density

Kerala is one of the most densely populated states in India - which makes it more prone to such outbreaks. Also, a lot of healthcare workers working abroad belong to Kerala. This can make it easier for viruses to spread from person to person.

Public Health System

The next and most important contributing factor is that Kerala has a strong public health system, which may help to detect and contain virus outbreaks more quickly. However, it is also possible that the state's strong public health system makes it more likely that virus outbreaks are detected in the first place.

It is of utmost importance to highlight that the reason Kerala is more susceptible to viral outbreaks than other Indian states is unclear. To fully comprehend the elements that contribute to Kerala's susceptibility to viral outbreaks, more study is required.

In addition to the aforementioned issues, some researchers have speculated that climate change may be contributing to Kerala's rising viral epidemics. Temperatures are rising, and rainfall patterns are changing as a result of climate change. This could make it easier for viruses to flourish and spread.

It is important to note that there is no need to panic about the risk of virus outbreaks in Kerala. The risk of infection for any individual is still relatively low. However, it is important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to protect yourself from infection. This includes avoiding contact with bats and other animals, avoiding raw date palm sap, and practicing good hygiene.

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