Symptoms start between a few hours to 5 days after exposure to a source. Clinical signs can be absent (asymptomatic) or can range from mild to severe.
In V. cholerae O1/O139 infection, severe illness is seen in about 10% of infections and includes the following symptoms:
· Profuse watery diarrhea which looks like rice-water
· Signs of dehydration like rapid heart rate, thirst, low blood pressure which can lead to coma and death
In V. cholerae infection caused by non-O1/O139 strains, symptoms tend to be milder and include:
- nausea and vomiting
- mild to severe watery diarrhea
- wound infection
More severe illness can occur in people with weak immune systems, low stomach acidity or liver disease.