DOCTORS, researchers and academics who risked their lives to fight Ebola were celebrated for their efforts with a medal from the Queen.

Nearly 80 members of staff at Oxford University who helped tackle the crisis in West Africa, which claimed nearly 18,000 lives, received medals for their work combating the killer virus.

The medals were presented to the staff by vice chancellor Andrew Hamilton at Exeter College on Thursday. Emerging infectious disease professor Peter Horby was one of those who received the honour, given on behalf of the Queen.

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The academic, who has worked in Oxford for 10 years, said: “The fact that the whole group’s work has been recognised is very pleasing.

“Once the outbreak began, teams of people worked to get government funding, co-ordinate with other organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières and many people also went out to tackle the disease. A lot of people had to convince their loved ones to go out there and put themselves at risk to help fight the disease.”

Prof Horby went to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone many times between last October and this July to help work with teams who were treating Ebola sufferers with experimental therapies.