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The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has determined that symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola Virus Disease, but the average is 8 to 10 days. [1]

Stages of Ebola[edit]

Stages of Ebola

Stage One - 7-9 days:

  • Joint Pain
  • Mild Fever (99+ F / 37.2+ C)
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Muscle soreness

Stage Two - 10th day

  • Vomiting blood
  • Diarrhea
  • High Fever (101.5+ F / 38.6+ C)
  • Extreme Fatigue

Stage Three - 11th day

  • Brain Damage
  • Bleeding from nose, mouth, anus

Stage Four - 12th day

  • Coma
  • Organ Failure
  • Shock
  • Massive internal Bleeding
  • Death

[2], [3], [4]

Asymptomatic Carriers and Transmission[edit]

An acute viral infection is characterized by rapid onset of disease, a relatively brief period of symptoms, and resolution within days. It is usually accompanied by early production of infectious virions and elimination of infection by the host immune system. Acute viral infections are typically observed with pathogens such as influenza virus and rhinovirus. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is an acute viral infection, although the course of disease is unusually severe.

Often an acute infection may cause little or no clinical symptoms – the so-called inapparent infection. A well-known example is poliovirus infection: over 90% are without symptoms. During an inapparent infection, sufficient virus replication occurs in the host to induce antiviral antibodies, but not enough to cause disease. Such infections are important for the spread of infection, because they are not easily detected. [5]

Infection without Symptoms[edit]

The CDC's guidelines for testing for Ebola requires that suspected patients have a temperature is at least 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit (or 38.6 degrees Celsius.)[6] If the fever is below this and there are no visible symptoms of Ebola, health authorities say it should be assumed the person is not infectious.

On October 12, 2014 David Willman of the LA Times wrote an article highlighting a discrepency found by the New England Journal of Medicine.[7], [8]

"Yet the largest study of the current outbreak found that in nearly 13% of "confirmed and probable" cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and elsewhere, those infected did not have fevers. The study, sponsored by the World Health Organization and published online late last month by the New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data on 3,343 confirmed and 667 probable cases of Ebola.

The finding that 87.1% of those infected exhibited fever — but 12.9% did not"

Demographic Characteristics and Signs and Symptoms in Confirmed and Probable Ebola Case Patients with a Definitive Clinical Outcome in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.*
Symptom All Patients Patients who died Patients who recovered
Fever‡ 1002/1151 (87.1%) 746/846 (88.2%) 256/305 (83.9)
Vomiting 753/1114 (67.6%) 566/816 (69.4%) 187/298 (62.8%)
Diarrhea 721/1099 (65.6%) 555/813 (68.3%) 166/286 (58.0%)
Abdominal pain 439/992 (44.3%) 311/715 (43.5%) 128/277 (46.2%)

(*) Data are as of September 14, 2014. Patients with date of onset up to August 17, 2014, were included. Total numbers are the numbers of patients with data on the variable in question.

‡ Fever was defined as a body temperature above 100.4°F/38°C; however, in practice, health care workers at the district level often do not have a medical thermometer and simply ask whether the person’s body temperature is more elevated than usual.


Infectious Before Being Sick[edit]

Ebola becomes symptomatic up three to five days before an individual might believe they are sick.

“Usually, an individual is not sick for three to five days after the onset of symptoms, which will fool you,” Dr. Ribner said. “You say, ‘Oh, you’re not going to be that sick.’ Then, around Day 5 to 7, they really crash. Their blood pressure goes down, they become stuporous to unresponsive, and they start to have renal and liver failure. This correlates with the enormous viral load, which is just attacking every organ in the body.”[10]