The span of time from onset of symptoms to death is usually between 6 and 16 days. By the second week of the infection, the patient will either experience a full recovery or undergo systemic multiorgan failure. Mortality rates are generally high, ranging from 50-90% depending on the specific strain. The cause of death is normally due to hypovolemic shock or organ failure (Fig 4). While hemorrhages can be severe and have been the calling card of this virus, they are actually present in fewer than half of patients . Here, Chief Epidemiologist Philippe Calain from the CDC Special Pathogens Branch sums up the appearance of his patients during the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit:
"At the end of the disease the patient does not look, from the outside, as horrible as you can read in some books. They are not melting. They are not full of blood. They're in shock, muscular shock. They are not unconscious, but you would say 'obtunded', dull, quiet, very tired. Very few were hemorrhaging. Hemorrhage is not the main symptom. Less than half of the patients had some kind of hemorrhage. But the ones that had bled, died"
originally posted by: ketsuko
Ebola is scariest when it is still incubating and therefore silent because that is when it can move all over the world in a person who is still apparently healthy.