A girl suffering from hepatitis receives treatment at a hospital in Arsal, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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A serious but rarely lethal strain of hepatitis is afflicting refugees and locals in the town of Arsal, where sub-standard sanitation, close living quarters and poor nutrition are contributing to the spread of the virus. While local health professionals are concerned about the highly contagious virus, they say the recent outbreak is just one of many serious health issues in Arsal. Dr. Qassem al-Zein, another Syrian doctor in Arsal, said 90 percent of the patients in the town were treated at home after being diagnosed.Inadequate sanitary conditions in Arsal's numerous refugee camps, said Zein, were to blame for the spread of the disease.Faris blamed the sub-standard public services throughout Arsal.Zein and Faris said the hepatitis outbreak was just the latest in a slew of serious health crises facing Arsal.
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