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Rapid detection of outbreaks is critical. That's why the CDC partnered with Uganda on a pilot program to speed things up. Above: Workers at an Ebola emergency response center in Sierra Leone during the outbreak that began in 2014. David P. Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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David P. Gilkey/NPR

Men outside a hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, wear surgical masks as a precaution against infection with a coronavirus. Stringer/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Stringer/Reuters /Landov

As an armchair disease detective, you don't have to bother with mundane tasks, like culturing fluorescent bacteria or interviewing the ill. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hide caption

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention