Cholera: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Symptoms of Cholera

Being exposed to cholera does not necessarily mean you will become ill. It some cases, you may not even know that you have been exposed. Only around 2 in 40 cholera infections are severe. If one is going to experience any symptom of cholera, it would be after at least 12 hours and at most 5 days of being exposed, if there are no signs after 5 days, it means you are free from cholera.

Severe case of cholera is mostly accompanied with severe watery diarrhea and vomiting. [3] These two conditions leads to dehydration and can be fatal. Even though you show no symptom of the condition, you are prone to suffer from it. If you have it, you can still contribute to spread the infection.

The symptoms of cholera range from mild to severe. The most severe state of the conditions is when the loss of fluids in the body is up to 20 liters a day. At this rate of dehydration, one can experience shock.

Some signs of dehydration include:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Low blood pressure [4]
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Constant dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Loose skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced secretion, for example, less sweating
  • Thirst
  • Dry mucous membrane
  • Fever

Dehydration if not treated immediately can lead to a lot more complications, like shock and coma. [5] This is because you are losing essential minerals in your blood and this can lead to an electrolyte imbalance. The first sign of electrolyte imbalance is muscle cramps. [6] You should immediately see your doctor if you develop diarrhea after visiting a place with poor sanitation.