Time magazine named “The Ebola Fighters” as its “Person of the Year” for 2014. There has been an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in some West African countries, and the worst affected are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Ebola is a very serious disease and may lead to death. The first cases of people infected with the disease were reported in Guinea in March. There is no specific treatment for it, but some patients recover with proper medical care. It is caused by the ebola virus which can be transmitted to humans from animals who have the virus (such as fruit bats). The infection can then be passed on from one person to the other through blood, sweat, and other bodily fluids. Over 11,000 cases have been reported and more than 6,000 people have died.
Many countries’ governments and international organizations are working to help the people with the disease and also to stop the disease from spreading. Health workers have gone from door to door trying to educate people about Ebola. Many doctors and nurses are out there taking care of the sick. Since the disease is very infectious, some people trying to help Ebola patients have gotten the disease. A few have survived the disease and others have died. Even though the danger is high, the fearless workers are out there taking risks to help people. These Ebola fighters are Time’s Person of the Year.
Two others who were close contenders for Time’s Person of the Year were Vladimir Putin (image), Russia’s President, and Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of the Alibaba Group and currently the richest man in China. Alibaba is a Chinese online and mobile commerce company that has a bunch of Internet-based businesses. Amongst other things, the company allows people to buy and sell products online or using their mobile phone.
The Person of the Year award by Time magazine has been awarded since 1927. The award is given to individuals (or sometimes groups of people or even things) that significantly influence the world, for better or worse. There have been some interesting winners in the past that were not individuals. In 1982, the award went to the computer for the impact it was having on us. In 1988, planet Earth was the winner because our environment and its protection became a significant subject. In 2006, the Person of the Year was “You”, as in all of us. This was to recognize the impact that user-generated information had caused because of the Internet. In 2011, the winner was “The Protester”. Protests had been held in many countries around the globe and some had led to governments changing.
Here are two videos about Ebola.
Did you know?
Some famous African singers got together and sang a song about Ebola to help raise awareness about the disease. You can watch the video here.
Did you know?
There was a severe shortage of food in Ethiopia in the early 1980s. To raise money to help the Ethiopians, some famous singers got together in the United Kingdom in 1984 and released a song called “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. Some singers in the UK recently got together and re-recorded the same song with modified lyrics for Ebola. You can watch the original song’s video here.
Image Credits: Time for Time’s cover image, kremlin.ru for Putin’s image
Sources: Npr.org, WHO, Time, http://www.alibabagroup.com/