Cholera (V. cholerae O1/O139)
Symptoms start between a few hours to 5 days after exposure. Infection with this bacterium can cause no symptoms at all, mild to moderate diarrhea or severe symptoms in about 10% of cases. Severe symptoms include:
- Profuse painless watery diarrhea which looks like rice-water
- Profuse vomiting
- Signs of dehydration like rapid heart rate, thirst and low blood pressure which can lead to coma and death
In severe untreated infections, up to 50% of people may die due to massive loss of fluid. Treatment and rehydration brings the death rate down to less than 1%.
V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139
Symptoms start 12 to 96 hours after exposure and range from mild to moderate.
In general, symptoms tend to be milder than in cholera and include:
- Mild to moderate watery diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
This bacterium can also cause wound infections with pain, redness and swelling at the site of infection.
In people with weakened immune systems or with liver disease, the bacterium can infect the blood stream, causing fever, chills and a drop in blood pressure.