The Inhuman Heroism of Health-Care Workers in the Ebola Zone

October 3, 2014 8:39 PM

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The Inhuman Heroism of Health-Care Workers in the Ebola Zone

In his public statements about the Dallas Ebola patient this week, the CDC's director Thomas Frieden has been steady, optimistic, and reassuring. "We will stop Ebola in its tracks," he has said. He has maintained that Americans should feel secure, that the systems of disease surveillance, isolation, and supportive care in place here are robust enough to keep Ebola from spreading widely. But in the horrifying news from West Africa, and in the anxious episodes in Dallas, we are beginning to learn a little bit more about what that security depends upon. It depends, here but mostly in West Africa, upon inhumanly heroic and terrible acts of bravery by medical workers putting themselves at risk in order to keep the disease from spreading.

Perhaps the most poignant story to emerge from the Ebola zone this week was that of Foday Galla, an ambulance crew chief in Monrovia, who explained to Time's Aryn Baker how he had contracted Ebola and then — after two weeks of treatment — beat it. The story lies in how he became infected, and the ri...

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