Time magazine has named Ebola workers as its Person of the Year for 2014 for "tireless acts of courage and mercy" and exposing the vulnerabilities of the global healthcare system.

Over 6,300 people have been killed by this year's outbreak, most of them in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Among the dead are around 359 health workers. The death of Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas and the news that two of the nurses who treated him had become infected caused a quiet panic across Texas and much of the U.S. The fear hit close to home when news broke that two Belton students were aboard a flight with one of the infected nurses, prompting the closure of three schools and the voluntary quarantine of the children's families.

Ebola anxiety has eased here in the States thanks in large part to the continuing struggles of health workers in West Africa. As Time editor Nancy Gibbs writes, "The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight."

Runners-up for Person of the Year included protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, Russian President Vladamir Putin, Kurdish leader Massoud ­Barzani, and Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce company Alibaba.