The symptoms of cholera occur 2 hours to 5 days after infection.
Profuse watery diarrhea is the main symptom. It is very violent and can lose up to 15 liters or 20 liters of water per day. There are associated vomiting which inevitably exacerbate dehydration already increased by diarrhea.
An intense thirst characterizes dehydration. There is very often little or no fever. Weight loss can be massive, especially in children and infants.
Cholera is an emergency! The drop in blood pressure can be a symptom of seriousness. By dint of dehydration, the blood volume can weaken to the point that the heart can not pump anything and ... end up stopping. This is the cardiovascular collapse. If the blood volume is not restored urgently, the outcome can be fatal.
On the other hand, if the dehydration is curbed, the patient cures in a few days. The prognosis is more serious in children, the elderly and frail subjects.
Cholera should not be confused with food poisoning, which has less severe symptoms and is less severe.
The cholera vibrio can be found on direct examination under a microscope in the stool. In the laboratory, its cultivation is easy, but do not wait for the results of this examination before rehydrating the patient ... at the risk that his condition worsens!