Cholera (Visuchika)
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Introduction

 

Visuchika or cholera diseaseis a highly contagious disease that is spread through water. As it can spread beyond its region of localization, it is called as a pandemic. The last known major outbreak of visuchika was in South America between 1991 and 1994 when it killed an approximate 10,000 people.

Definition of Visuchika

 

Visuchika is better known by its English name, cholera. It is a waterborne disease caused due to the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. This bacterium can live in all kinds of water, such as freshwater, sea water and brackish water. The bacterium is a gram negative bacterium that can be killed by the drug tetracycline.

The disease visuchika is characterized by acute diarrhea and intestinal infections. The presence of the symptoms could be either mild or severe. Chronic visuchika has been observed in 5% of all people infected by Vibrio cholerae.

Once the bacterium enters the body of a person, it takes about two to three days for the symptoms to begin showing. The bacterium produces toxins, which cause severe diarrheas and also critical loss of fluids from the body. Dehydration is the most primary problem of a visuchika patient. The maximum number of people who die of visuchika do so because they are dehydrated to an extent below their normal body levels.

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Transmission of Visuchika

Visuchika is a waterborne disease, i.e. it can be transmitted through water. All kinds of water, i.e. freshwater, salt water and brackish water can permit Vibrio cholerae to live in it, and so visuchika can be passed on via any kind of water. People who eat sea food can also contract this disease if there is a presence of Vibrio cholerae in the sea food that they consume. Similarly, people who are constantly traveling have a higher risk of getting affected by Visuchika.

The bacterium Vibrio cholerae can live within the fecal matter of humans. Hence if the feces of the diseased person are not treated in time, the bacteria will survive in it and there is a good chance that it will be passed on to some other person.

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Causes of Visuchika

Cholera Disease Causes

Visuchika is a vata disease. A vitiation in the vata of the person, especially the samana vata which governs digestion causes visuchika. Among kapha people, a vitiation of the bodhaka kapha can be the cause.

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Symptoms of Visuchika

Cholera Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of visuchika begin showing two to three days after the attack of Vibrio cholera. The following are the main symptoms of visuchika found in an affected person:-

(i) The first symptom is the beginning of diarrhea. The diarrhea is most severe in the beginning. Watery stools are a characteristic of visuchika.

(ii) Vomiting begins along with the diarrhea. There is a cramping sensation before the person is about to vomit.

(iii) Severe loss of water from the person’s body leads to dehydration. This shows in general dryness of the skin, which is seen more prominently on the lips of the person. Eyes lose their moistness.

(iv) Visuchika is a fatal disease. If treatment is not begun within a few hours of the preliminary diarrheas, then the person will most probably die.

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Precautions to Take with Visuchika

Since visuchika can become a pandemic, there are a lot of precautions a person must take in regards to this disease. The following are some of the precautions:-

(i) Always drink water that has been purified by boiling. Filtered water is not enough as the pores can easily allow the Vibriocholerae to pass through.

(ii) Avoid all kinds of fish food during times of a cholera pandemic. Though the bacterium can live in any kind of water, it prefers sea water.

(iii) There should be a very safe and efficient disposal of the patient’s stools and urine.

(iv) Avoid visiting public toilets in places where there is a cholera pandemic going on.

(v) If you are using ice in drinks, then make sure that the ice is made of boiled water. Also avoid popsicles and soft drinks you are not sure about.

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Vaccination for Visuchika

Tetracycline is used as the vaccine when a cholera outbreak happens. However, different countries have their own legislations. In some countries, cholera vaccination is needed before entry.

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Ayurvedic Treatment of Visuchika

The biggest problem with visuchika is that of loss of water through dehydration. This is compounded by the diarrhea and vomiting. The following Ayurvedic herbs can be of some help to people with visuchika:-

Ayurvedic Name of Herb

Biological Name of Herb

Common English Name of Herb

Action

Kakdi or Kheera

Cucumis sativus

Cucumber

One glass of cucumber leaves extract mixed with an equal quantity of coconut milk helps in allaying the thirst of the visuchika patient.

Kanda

Allium cepa

Onion

Onions are well-known cures for cancer patients. Onions reduce the vomiting and diarrhea almost instantly and also increase the thirst of the person.

Lavanga

Syzygium aromaticum

Clove

Cloves check the dehydration of the patient by reducing the vomiting and diarrhea.

Neembu

Citrus x limon

Lemon

The juice of lemons has the potency to kill Vibrio cholerae. This juice is ideal to be taken when there is a cholera pandemic around.

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