Online version of the 2013-14 Department of Health Annual Report

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Page last updated: 17 July 2019

About the cover

MERS-CoV

The image is an artistic interpretation of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, which appears on the cover of the 2013-14 Annual Report.
(Artistic interpretation)

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in September 2012. MERS-CoV symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, and can also cause muscle pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. It has a fatality rate of around 36% and no cure or vaccine exists. The best known method to stop its spread is through infection control.

The most severe cases of MERS-CoV have occurred in people with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, kidney failure and cancer. All cases to date have involved people who have lived in or travelled to the Middle East, or have had close contact with people who acquired the infection in the Middle East.

Camels are suspected to be the source of infection for sporadic cases, but the exact routes of direct or indirect exposure remain unknown. Person-to-person transmission has been documented, particularly in healthcare settings. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which is caused by the SARS coronavirus, spreads more quickly, but MERS-CoV appears to be more deadly and experts are working hard to better understand it.

According to the WHO, as of 30 June 2014, MERS-CoV has claimed the lives of more than 250 people in at least 10 countries, out of more than 700 confirmed cases. While there have been no cases to date in Australia, it is likely that the MERS-CoV will eventually reach our shores.

Further information about MERS-CoV is contained in the Chief Medical Officer’s Report and the latest ‘Situation Updates’ on MERS-CoV are available on the Department of Health website.

2013-14 Department of Health Annual Report

ISSN: 1447-8722
ISBN: 978-1-74186-187-7
Online ISBN: 978-1-74186-188-4
Publications approval number: 10837

Copyright Statements

Paper-based publications

Commonwealth of Australia 2014
This work is copyright. You may reproduce the whole or part of this work in unaltered form for your own personal use or, if you are part of an organisation, for internal use within your organisation, but only if you or your organisation do not use the reproduction for any commercial purpose and retain this copyright notice and all disclaimer notices as part of that reproduction. Apart from rights to use as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 or allowed by this copyright notice, all other rights are reserved and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or any part of this work in any way (electronic or otherwise) without first being given the specific written permission from the Commonwealth to do so. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights are to be sent to the Communication Branch, Department of Health, GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, or via e-mail to: copyright@health.gov.au.

The primary purpose of this report is to describe the Department’s activities during 2013-14, reporting on the performance and financial information presented in the 2013-14 Health Portfolio Budget Statements, and the 2013-14 Health Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements. Its aim is to provide readers with a useful and informative picture of the Department’s performance during the last year.

Internet sites

Commonwealth of Australia 2014
This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce the whole or part of this work in unaltered form for your own personal use or, if you are part of an organisation, for internal use within your organisation, but only if you or your organisation do not use the reproduction for any commercial purpose and retain this copyright notice and all disclaimer notices as part of that reproduction. Apart from rights to use as permitted by the Copyright Act 1968 or allowed by this copyright notice, all other rights are reserved and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or any part of this work in any way (electronic or otherwise) without first being given the specific written permission from the Commonwealth to do so. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights are to be sent to the Communication Branch, Department of Health, GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, or via e-mail to: copyright@health.gov.au.

Contact Information

If you would like to comment on this Annual Report, or have any queries, please contact the Editor at:

The Editor, 2013-14 Annual Report Australian Government Department of Health
MDP 51 GPO Box 9848 CANBERRA ACT 2601 AUSTRALIA

Phone: +61 2 6289 7181 Fax: +61 2 6289 7177 Email: annrep@health.gov.au

Further information on the Department of Health is also available on the Department's website.

Cover image

Virus artwork F007/1457 Science Photo Library

Design

Giraffe Visual Communication Management.

Photography

Rob Little

Printing

Paragon Printers, Canberra

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