Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, where the Ebola outbreak has killed thousands, are trying to implement severe controls to prevent the spread of the disease.

Authorities have ordered a stop to traditional funeral rites that involve touching relatives' bodies. The burial of loved ones is important in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members.

These powerful pictures by Getty Images photographer John Moore show the pain felt by families in Liberia as their loved ones are taken away for cremation.

Although Liberians normally bury their loved ones after death, the government has mandated that Ebola victims be cremated, as dead bodies are highly contagious.

The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects contaminated with infected secretions.

There is no cure for Ebola, which has an incubation period of up to 21 days and starts with fever and fatigue and can eventually result in organ failure and massive internal bleeding.

Ebola symptoms generally appear between two and 21 days after infection, meaning there is a significant window during which an infected person can escape detection, allowing them to travel. However, they are not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms.

Around 40% of people who contract Ebola recover. Survival depends on the patient's immune response.

People who recover from Ebola develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.