In the early stages of Ebola, symptoms like fever, headache and muscle pain are fairly common and may seem like a case of the flu.
However, within a few days, someone with Ebola will get much sicker. As the virus begins to take hold of the body, gastrointestinal illness, such as abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea will occur. A patient may have trouble breathing and swallowing, experience chest pain, and develop a rash, excessive bruising and bloody blisters of the skin.
A person in the advanced stages of an acute Ebola infection will begin to have internal bleeding -- what's known as viral hemorrhagic fever. Ebola can cause hemorrhaging of multiple organs, as well as external bleeding from various orifices of the body including the ears and eyes. While excessive bleeding is the most horrific of Ebola's symptoms, not every patient develops it.
The CDC says Ebola symptoms could start appearing anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the virus; the average incubation period is 8 to 10 days.