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Wednesday, 17 October 1956

Mr KEARNEY (CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Health aware that cases of infectious hepatitis in the Wollongong district have now exceeded in number the previous record for any infectious disease in the area, and that the Greater Wollongong City Council health authorities are alarmed at the spread of the disease, which has reached scourge proportions? Is it true that ordinarily the majority of cases occur in the five to fifteen years age group, but that recently in some parts of the world the heaviest incidence has occurred in persons aged over 40, and that these outbreaks have been associated with a very high mortality rate, which has exceeded 20 per cent? Will the Minister say whether there is any known vaccine of any value for the treatment of this disease, and what action is being taken by Australian research authorities to produce such a vaccine?

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