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.
The Vital Statistics Act becomes effective, providing for the first time a law
requiring the reporting of birth and death records.
Polio 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 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.
As 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.