The length of time between exposure to the virus and the development of symptoms (incubation period) is between 2 to 21 days, and usually between 4 to 10 days. However, recent estimates based on mathematical models predict that around 5% of cases may take greater than 21 days to develop.
Symptoms usually begin with a sudden influenza-like stage characterized by feeling tired, fever, weakness, decreased appetite, muscular pain, joint pain, headache, and sore throat. The fever is usually higher than 38.3 °C (101 °F). This is often followed by vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Next, shortness of breath and chest pain may occur, along with swelling, headaches and confusion. In about half of the cases, the skin may develop a maculopapular rash, a flat red area covered with small bumps, 5 to 7 days after symptoms begin.
In some cases, internal and external bleeding may occur. This typically begins five to seven days after the first symptoms. All infected people show some decreased blood clotting. Bleeding from mucous membranes or from sites of needle punctures has been reported in 40–50 percent of cases. This may cause vomiting blood, coughing up of blood, or blood in stool. Bleeding into the skin may create petechiae, purpura, ecchymoses or hematomas (especially around needle injection sites). Bleeding into the whites of the eyes may also occur. Heavy bleeding is uncommon; if it occurs, it is usually located within the gastrointestinal tract.