Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" issue features not a single individual but rather all of the world's Ebola fighters, honored for "tireless acts of courage and mercy."

An image of a Liberian doctor in the protective suit and goggles worn by those who treat Ebola patients graces the magazine's cover.

"Anyone willing to treat Ebola victims ran the risk of becoming one. Which brings us to the hero's heart," Time editor Nancy Gibbs wrote on the magazine's website, explaining the magazine's choice for most influential newsmaker of 2014.

Time annually selects a man, woman, couple or concept the magazine's editors believe had the most impact on the world during the previous 12 months.

The outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone "struck doctors and nurses in unprecedented numbers, wiping out a public-health infrastructure that was weak in the first place," Gibbs wrote.

Stepping into the breach were medical workers with Doctors Without Borders, relief workers from Christian charities, and many other people from around the world who joined with local doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and burial teams to fight the epidemic.

"For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME's 2014 Person of the Year," Gibbs wrote.

Among those Time featured in the cover article were Dr. Kent Brantly, who was infected by the deadly virus while working in Liberia, but recovered after his return to the U.S.

Brantly said he traveled to Liberia believing it was his vocation to choose a career as a medical missionary.

"Deep in the core of my heart, I still think that's my calling," he says. "I don't want to go on with life and forget this."

Another Ebola fighter featured by Time is Foday Gallah, an ambulance team supervisor in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, who survived his own infection with the virus.

That has left him with an immunity he says is a holy gift.

"I want to give my blood so a lot of people can be saved," he says. "I am going to fight Ebola with all of my might.

"I am going to every nook and cranny of the capital city, pick up whatsoever Ebola patient and take them to the treatment unit, and give them words of hope, of encouragement," he says.

The Ebola outbreak touched the U.S. when Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted the disease in his home country before traveling to America, died in a Dallas hospital in October.

Two nurses who treated him before he died became infected, although both recovered following treatment.

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