For putting their own lives at risk to battle the disease, Ebola fighters – the doctors and medical volunteers treating those suffering from the deadly virus – have been named Time's Persons of the Year.
The Ebola fighters were selected for the annual honor over other finalists that included the Ferguson protesters; Russian president Vladimir Putin; Kurdish regional government leader Massoud Barzani, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
credited organizations like Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Christian medical-relief workers of Samaritan's Purse and others who worked alongside of local doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams in West Africa "for tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses."
"Ebola is a war, and a warning," wrote Time about its selection for the Ebola fighters. "The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and 'us' means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day."
"The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight," the magazine said.
some 6,300 people have died from the disease, mainly in West Africa, according to World Health Organization figures. There are still more than 11,000 confirmed Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the epicenter of the disease outbreak.
On top of those figures, there are another 6,000 suspected and probable cases being examined by WHO. Ebola cases have spread in much smaller numbers to other African countries, Europe and a handful in the United States.
The Los Angeles Times reported
Monday that no one in the United States is currently being treated for Ebola. Dr. Craig Spencer, an American physician who contracted Ebola in Guinea and became ill at home in New York was treated and released on Nov. 11.
Dr. Martin Salia, a Sierra Leone doctor who contracted the disease and fell ill in that country before being transferred to the United States, where his wife and children live, died Nov. 17.
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