Symptoms of Ebola virus disease 

A person infected with Ebola virus will typically develop a fever, a headache, joint and muscle pain, a sore throat, and intense muscle weakness.

These symptoms start suddenly between 2 and 21 days after becoming infected.

Diarrhoea, vomiting, a rash, stomach pain and impaired kidney and liver function follow.

The patient then bleeds internally, and may also bleed from the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.

Ebola virus disease is fatal in 50-90% of cases. The sooner a person is given care, the better the chances that they will survive.

What if I think I might have Ebola in the UK?

If you feel unwell with symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, a sore throat or a rash within 21 days of coming back from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, you should stay at home and immediately call 111 or 999 and explain that you have recently visited West Africa.

These services will provide advice and arrange for you to be seen in a hospital, if necessary, so the cause of your illness can be determined.

Other illnesses much more common than Ebola (such as flutyphoid fever and malaria) have similar symptoms in the early stages, so proper medical assessment is really important to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.

It is also really important that medical services are expecting your arrival, and calling 111 or 999 will ensure this happens.

Read on to find out how Ebola virus disease spreads.

Page last reviewed: 15/10/2014

Next review due: 15/10/2016