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Nowhere has the tight embrace of global and domestic health been more visible than in the Ebola epidemic, which sprinted through West Africa and then landed on US and European shores. As the infection threatened to spiral out of control and the world shuddered, we saw the limits of preparedness — from Freetown to New York City — and finally began to acknowledge the importance of strong health systems, resilient infrastructure, a well-trained workforce, and adequate investment in vaccine development everywhere. Why were infections contained in some countries while spreading rapidly in others? What worked in even the most resource-poor settings? Will the epidemic finally encourage needed investments in fragile health systems in Africa? What could donor nations have done differently?