PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 12: Ebola survivor Sontay Massaley, 37, smiles upon her release from the MSF Ebola treatment center. Massaley, who spent 8 days recovering from the disease in the center, said she worked as a vendor in a market before contracting the virus.
Credit: John Moore

Ebola is a lethal and undeniably cruel disease, forcing its sufferers into isloation from loved ones they might infect.

As Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea know all too well, its toll in West Africa has been huge: nearly 5,000 there have died from an Ebola outbreak that has accelerated all year.

But nearly 5,000 have also survived the hemorraghic viral disease, which the World Health Organization says has a 70 percent mortality rate. Now immune to the strain of Ebola that made them so ill, these survivors are uniquely able to assist with containing the outbreak — to have contact with the sick in health centers, isolation wards and homes.

Many of them are also living through immense personal tragedy, having lost family members to the disease they were fortunate enough to survive. They're stigmatized by fearful neighbors, too.

"Nobody will even let me draw water from the community well," midwife Ami Subah told Getty photographer John Moore. She has not been able to find work since recovering from the disease.

Moore has been capturing some of the most devastating, heart-wrenching, and sometimes hopeful images of the Ebola crisis. Below are some of his portraits of survivors, shot outside Doctors Without Borders (MSF) facilities in Liberia.

  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivor Ami Subah, 39, stands inside the low-risk area of the MSF treatment center after meeting with fellow survivors. Subah, a midwife, said she thinks she caught Ebola when she delivered a baby boy from a sick mother. The boy survived, she said, but the mother died. She said she has not had work since her recovery, due to the stigma of having had Ebola. "Nobody will even let me draw water from the community well," she said. The virus has a 70 percent mortality rate, according to the World Health Organization, but leaves survivors immune to the strain that sickened them.
    Credit: John Moore
  • MONROVIA, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 13: Emergency room doctor and Ebola survivor Philip Ireland stands outside the JFK Hospital where he works in Monrovia, Liberia. Ireland spent 21 days recovering from the disease in July.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 12: Ebola survivor James Harris, 29, stands for a portrait before a shift as a nurse's assistant at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Paynesville. Harris spent 2 weeks recovering from the disease. The former construction worker said that he believes he caught the disease while caring for his father, who died of Ebola at home. He now counsels others at the treatment center.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 12: Ebola survivor Sontay Massaley, 37, smiles upon her release from the MSF Ebola treatment center. Massaley, who spent 8 days recovering from the disease in the center, said she worked as a vendor in a market before contracting the virus.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 12: Ebola survivor Lassana Jabeteh, 36, smiles before his shift as a nurse's assistant at the MSF Ebola treatment center. He said that he previously worked as a taxi driver and that he thinks he caught Ebola when he transported a sick policeman who vomited in his car on the way to the hospital. MSF hired Jabeteh after he recovered in their treatment center. He now counsels and comforts others stricken by the disease.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivors Anthony Naileh, 46, and his wife Bendu Naileh, 34, stand at the MSF Ebola treatment center after meeting with fellow survivors. Anthony said he is a stenographer at the Liberian Senate and plans to go back to work for the January session. Bendu, a nurse, said she thought she caught Ebola after laying her hands in prayer on a nephew who had the disease in August. She then sickened her husband, who cared for her.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivor James Mulbah, 2, stands with his mother, Tamah Mulbah, 28, who also recovered from Ebola, in the low-risk section of the MSF Ebola treatment center.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivor Victoria Masah, 28, stands in the low-risk section of the MSF Ebola treatment center. She said her husband and two children died of Ebola.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivor Jeremra Cooper, 16, wipes his face from the heat. The 8th grade student said he lost six family members to the Ebola epidemic before coming down sick with the disease himself and being sent to the MSF center, where he recovered after one month.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 16: Ebola survivor Mohammed Bah, 39, stands at the MSF treatment center. Bah, who works as a driver, said he lost his wife, mother, father and sister to Ebola, which has an average 70 percent mortality rate. He said he spent a week at the MSF center recovering from the disease. Like many other survivors, he said that the stigma of having had Ebola has been difficult. "I've been rejected by everyone. I'm alone with my two children," he said.
    Credit: John Moore
  • PAYNESVILLE, LIBERIA - OCTOBER 12: Ebola survivors Mark Jerry, 30, (R), and Zaizay Mulbah, 34, stand together before their shifts as nurse's assistants at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Paynesville. Jerry was a money changer and Mulbah a delivery driver before they caught the disease and went to the center, where they recovered. MSF hired them afterward to counsel and comfort others stricken by the disease.
    Credit: John Moore

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