As the fight to end the latest Ebola outbreak rages on, concerns are mounting over whether the deadly disease will become a global contagion.
The World Health Organization estimates that Ebola has already killed more than 4,400 people in West Africa and infected at least twice that many.
Cases outside the region have also surfaced: A nurse in Spain contracted the virus, and the first person diagnosed in the U.S. died in Dallas last week. Two health-care workers in Texas who treated the patient have tested positive for the virus.
At the same time, the economic cost associated with the epidemic is spiraling: A report from the World Bank said it could reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015 if the disease spreads from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighboring countries.
While health officials say they're making progress against the spread of Ebola, there are questions if the right medicines and screening procedures were in place—and if new cases will be handled differently.
"They were three months behind from the start in fighting this," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburgh.
"But they didn't have this type of outbreak before in these countries, and they underestimated how far behind the health systems in these areas were," he added.
"I think the Centers for Disease Control has done a good job, but we can do more in the future," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean of the school of public health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
"Had they weighed the history of Liberia and that the man who was the first case in the U.S. came from there, they might have jumped on this sooner," he said.