CONAKRY, Guinea — The medical school professors no longer want Kadiatou Fanta in the classroom. Her boyfriend has broken up with her. Each day the 26-year-old eats alone and sleeps alone. Even her own family members are afraid to touch her months after she survived Ebola.

Long gone are the days when she was vomiting blood and wracked by fever. And even with a certificate of health declaring her as having recovered, she says it’s still as though “Ebola survivor” is burned on her flesh.

“Ebola has ruined my life even though I am cured,” she says. “No one wants to spend a minute in my company for fear of being contaminated.”

The Ebola virus is only transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of the sick, such as blood, saliva, urine, sweat or semen. When the first cases emerged in Guinea back in March, no one had ever confronted such a virulent and gruesome disease in this corner of Africa.

Health workers hope that seeing living proof that people can survive Ebola will encourage fearful communities to get medical care instead of hiding the sick at home where they can infect relatives.

In Sierra Leone, Sulaiman Kemokai, 20, was released from an Ebola treatment center on Sunday after spending 25 days there. He still feels stiffness in his joints but says he is gaining strength each day.

“When I became sick, I was scared to go to hospital, I hid from my family, from health workers. After four days I couldn’t hide anymore, I was too sick. An Ebola ambulance collected me and took me to the hospital,” he recalls.

But some within his community are reluctant to have any physical contact with Kemokai. Those released from treatment centers are no longer contagious.

Although Fanta no longer had the virus in her bloodstream, she still was visibly unwell after nearly three weeks in the hospital. Her return to the classroom wasn’t smooth, but she’s undaunted.

“I want to take care of patients,” she says. “The reason I am alive today and speaking to you now is because doctors saved me.”