Averting an Outbreak

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In recorded history, no disease has jumped the species barrier to infect humans, caused an epidemic, and then never threatened us again—not without the discovery of a vaccine or cure to curtail the microbe. Some diseases, such as chicken pox, gradually become endemic to man, eventually resulting, if we are lucky, in nothing more than a mild childhood illness. Others, such as Ebola, retreat back to whatever animal reservoir they came from, stalking humanity from their hidden lair, only occasionally lashing out to bloody a village or crash a rural hospital. But diseases don't, as a rule, just go...