The incubation period (time between infection and manifestation of symptoms) ranges from a few hours to five days; on average it is two to three days.

Cholera (caused by toxin producing V. cholerae O1 or O139) starts with watery diarrhoea that can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In serious cases, patients suffer from painless, watery diarrhoea (rice water stool) and a liquid loss of up to 20 l/day. They also suffer from severe calf cramps and increased loss of water and electrolytes. Without fluid and electrolyte substitution, this can result in kidney failure and circulatory collapse and, eventually, death. If substitution therapy is started in time, the prognosis is positive (mortality 1 %).

Asymptomatic progression or mild symptoms, which are accompanied by the excretion of the agent are very common (manifestation rate below 2 %).

In addition to gastrointestinal infections, infections with V. Cholerae non-o1/non-O139 or other Vibrio sp. could also cause infections of the ear and soft tissue and even result in sepsis and, subsequently, death in severe cases.