Coloured scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles budding from an infected cell.Coloured scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from an infected cell (yellow). Ebola virus disease first appeared during outbreaks in Africa in the mid-1970s. The virus spreads between humans through direct contact with infected blood, secretions and organs, or with surfaces or bedding already contaminated with these fluids.