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Signs and Symptoms

After an incubation period of 5-10 days, symptom onset is sudden and marked by fever, chills, headache, and myalgia. Around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms, a maculopapular rash, most prominent on the trunk (chest, back, stomach), may occur. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may then appear. Symptoms become increasingly severe and can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.

Because many of the signs and symptoms of Marburg hemorrhagic fever are similar to those of other infectious diseases such as malaria or typhoid fever, clinical diagnosis of the disease can be difficult, especially if only a single case is involved.

The case-fatality rate for Marburg hemorrhagic fever is between 23-90%. For a complete listing of the case fatality rates for previous outbreaks, please see the History of Outbreaks table.