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Health laws are revised to create a list of reportable diseases, to specify the time limit within which the diseases must be reported and to whom, and to require the reports be forwarded to the State Board of Health.
Vital Records
The Vital Statistics Act becomes effective, providing for the first time a law requiring the reporting of birth and death records.

Polio in the 1900'sPolio outbreak begins and by 1917 there are 236 deaths per 100,000 population.

A new administrative code converts the State Board of Health into two departments, one devoted to public health and the other to handle matters related to licensing of physicians and other medical professions. Dr. C. St. Clair DrakeDr. C. St. Clair Drake of Chicago is appointed the first director of the State Department of Public Health by Gov. Frank O. Lowden to replace the seven-member State Board of Health. Two-year budget set at $443,212. The agency is organized into seven divisions -- general office, communicable diseases, tuberculosis, sanitation, diagnostic laboratory, vital statistics and lodging house inspections.

A law authorizes the establishment of local health departments by popular vote in one or more adjacent towns or road districts.

Vaccines during World War 1As part of the World War I effort, the Department vaccinates every sailor and solider against smallpox and typhoid fever, lectures them on social hygiene, provides military bases with safe water supplies, and inspects food supplies and kitchens.