Ebola fighters named Time Magazine's Person Of The Year in 2014

(Images: Time Magazine)

Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2014 is a group of people who have risked, and in many cases lost their lives, to treat the deadly Ebola outbreak.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 201 and it has particularly afflicted three countries in West Africa, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"For their tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to strengthen its defenses, for the risks they took and the lives they saved, the Ebola fighters are Time's 2014 Person of the Year," Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs said in a video posted on the magazine's Web site.

"These men and women did the hard and dangerous work in treating patients and protecting the rest of us," Gibbs said on the U.S. television network NBC's "Today" program on December 10.

She praised the fighters for demonstrating an "exceptionally great amount of courage and kindness and bravery."

The World Health Organization reported on its website on December 11 that there have been a total of 6,388 deaths in the current outbreak.

"A total of 17 942 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and the United States of America) and three previously affected countries (Nigeria, Senegal and Spain) up to the end of 7 December," the WHO said.

For the Time award, the Ebola workers were able to beat pop music artist Taylor Swift, Apple CEO Tim Cook, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma, the Ferguson protesters, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kurdish leader Massoud Karzani.

The last four were named as runners-up.

Time had revealed on December 8 that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the winner of the 2014 reader's poll.

Dr. Kent Brantly, a Samaritan's Purse missionary from Texas, said in a call to the TV show, "It's just a huge honor."

One of the large cadre of people from faith groups making up of local and international health care workers and organizations fighting Ebola, Brantly said, "This is not simply a historic event that we're looking back on.

"It's still happening. Ebola fighters are not just people who did something brave and courageous. They are still in the trenches fighting that war as we speak," he said.

Previous Time Person of the year winners include Pope Francis and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The Time issue has five different covers featuring two doctors, a nurse, an ambulance driver and a health care worker.

Time has run the feature, which highlights the year's most influential newsmaker, each year since 1927. That year, it named American aviator Charles Lindbergh "Man of the Year."

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