Ebola Fighters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

For 2014, Time magazine have honored those who are working tirelessly in western Africa to battle the devastating Ebola outbreak in the region. The many doctors and nurses in places like Sierra Leone and Liberia have been named as the Time magazine Person of the Year.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Time Magazine’s Editor Said Ebola Fighters Ran ‘Into the Fire’

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(Photo by Center for Disease Control (CDC) via Getty Images)

In an editorial that was published on Time magazine’s website on December 10, Time Editor Nancy Gibbs described who so many doctors and nurses cut through the bureaucracy to go to Africa to help treat the sick. She talks about how the World Health Organization “was in denial and snarled in red tape.” Gibbs adds that some of the first responders were regarded as “crying wolf” as the virus spread-and-spread. Those from Doctors Without Borders and Samaritan’s Purse were specifically lauded while Gibbs says that some did it for religious purposes and others because of duty, most had “the instinct to run into the fire, not away.”

2. One of the Covers Shows a Man Who Got Ebola While Trying to Help a Small Child

One of those highlighted by Time was ambulance supervisor Foday Gallah. He’s featured on one of the covers of the issue, shown clutching a small child. Gallah had gone to comfort the sick child. The child vomited on Gallah. Later, as a twisted reward for his act of kindness, Gallah contracted Ebola. The photo of Gallah was taken by Jackie Nickerson. In the Time feature, Nickerson explained why Gallah’s image was so powerful:

He’s the shining example of what the right thing to do is. He’s a shining example that we should all try to follow. He really did touch me with his story. I don’t usually like to use the word hero, but I have to use it here.

3. Dr. Kent Brantly Was One of the ‘Selfless’ Workers Pictured on Alternative Covers

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Dr. Kent Brantley. (Getty)

The other covers of the magazine show Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American infected with the deadly virus. He had been running a treatment clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, when he got sick. His photo shows him at a church near his home in Fort Worth, Texas. Photographer Bryan Schutmaat said of Brantly, “Kent was working in West Africa doing a lot of hard, selfless work to help people out.” Another pictured is Doctors Without Borders caregiver Salome Karwah. Both of her parents died from Ebola in Liberia. She used that experience to become a counselor to those with the disease. Also with photographed for a cover was Doctors Without Borders health promoter Ella Watson-Stryker. According photographer Janice Nickerson, Ella was uncomfortable with her picture being taken for the mag, Nickerson says “She was distracted, she wanted to do other things.” Lastly, Dr. Jerry Brown, a Liberian surgeon, was also featured for a cover. He’s considered a pioneer in Ebola-care in Liberia after he helped to convert his church into a treatment center.

4. 11,000 People Are Still Suffering With Ebola

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The World Health Organization reports that so far 6,300 people have died of Ebola, most of those have been in West Africa. At time of the Time magazine article, there are a further 11,000 living with the disease, again, mostly in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over the course of 2014, the disease has spread to the U.S., Europe and other African nations.

5. The Ebola Fighters Weren’t the Public’s Choice to Be ‘Person of the Year’

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The Ebola Fighters beat out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Vladimir Putin, Ferguson protesters, Taylor Swift, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Apple’s Tim Cook and Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani. The winner of the readers vote was Indian PM Narendra Modi. The Ebola Fighters were named because Time’s editors felt they had more of an influence on the world’s news throughout 2014. In 2013, the award was won by Pope Francis.

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