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What are the symptoms of cholera?

Page last updated 14 December 2021

In most cases), people infected with cholera show no signs or symptoms of the disease, but the infected person can still remain infectious to others. Symptoms may appear quickly, in as little as 12 hours after initial exposure to the bacterium, or may appear up to five days later.

Symptoms of severe cholera include:

  • sudden onset of painless, but severe, watery diarrhoea
  • nausea and vomiting (early in the illness)
  • severe dehydration (as a result of rapid fluid loss)

In severe untreated cases, death may occur within hours, but with simple treatment, full recovery can be expected.


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Sources & Citations

2. World Health Organization. Cholera. Available at: (accessed 24 November 2021).

3. Queensland Health. Cholera Queensland Health Guidelines for Public Health Units. Available at: (accessed 24 November 2021).


MAT-AU-2102457   Date of preparation December 2021