Regularly scheduled radio broadcasts by the Department on public health issues
are aired on WGN in Chicago.
Legislation gives the Department supervisory authority over
public water supplies and the construction and operation of public swimming
An encephalitis epidemic hits Paris, Ill.; 27 persons are stricken and nine
An outbreak of amebic dysentery associated with the Chicago
World's Fair results in 1,700 people ill and 98 deaths. Faulty plumbing at a
Chicago hotel polluted the hotel's drinking water supply causing the
Department research on the cause of an encephalitis outbreak that sickens 562
persons in the St. Louis area includes experimentation with monkeys. The
monkeys, housed in a fourth floor corridor of the state Capitol, are expelled
as a nuisance by the Secretary of State and the research project is abruptly
terminated when no other suitable place to house the monkeys is found.
Obligatory use of silver nitrate solution or of an equally effective
prophylaxis for newborn babies begins.
As part of his effort to
address the great economic depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New
Deal provides relief money that allows the Department to plan and supervise the
sealing of dangerous abandoned coal mines, to undertake mosquito abatement, to
replace unsanitary privies in areas with sewers and to construct public water
supply and sewage disposal systems.
The Great Flood causes
nearly 1,000 square miles of lowlands along the Ohio River to be inundated and
35,000 residents are evacuated. The Department supervises maintenance of
drinking water supplies, sewage disposal facilities are set up, suitable foods
served and inoculations against typhoid fever and smallpox provided.
Premarital tests are mandated for venereal disease, including laboratory tests
for gonorrhea and syphilis. The Department must test all specimens for free and
the director is made the arbiter in cases where infection is found in a
Pregnant women are required to have a blood test for syphilis.
The Department establishes a division of cancer control and gives it the
authority to set up and supervise local subsidized cancer diagnostic clinics.