It has been one year since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was recognised. The virus is blood-borne; the world’s next big disease could be airborne, which would be much harder to contain – particularly in our globalised, urbanised world. So when the next epidemic breaks out, how do we prevent it from spreading around the world? It is easier said than done. We will discuss different ways to fight the epidemics and look at the limitations that are preventing us from early detection of the epidemics.