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Why the worst outbreak ever is a warning of what could come next

The headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is buzzing because of a Disease that has never killed a single person on U.S. Soil. But that's how nasty Ebola is.

Staffers at the agency's Emergency Operations Center (EOC)--as close as the infectious-disease world has to a Mission Control--relay data from the field, producing comprehensive maps of the progression of the disease, which is killing more than half the people it infects, as it rampages through West Africa. The telephones never stop ringing, a testament to the fact that on Aug. 6 the EOC was put on Level 1 response for Ebola--the highest possible alert.

That means the daily 10 a.m. meetings now spill out of the primary conference room, where Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials and representatives from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) discuss how to handle the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, one that has already infected more than 1,900 people and killed more than 1,050. It's getting worse...

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