- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Department of Health in Volusia County is turning 125 years old this year.

The agency will celebrate with events around the state all year. The first event kicked off in Key West earlier this month where State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong laid a wreath at the grave of the first state public health officer, Dr. Joseph Yates Porter.

The state Legislature created the State Board of Health in 1889 in response to a yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville. Yellow fever was eradicated in 1905 in Florida.

Armstrong says the agency’s efforts to control disease and improve environmental health greatly contributed to the state’s population growth.

In September, the agency will display a historical exhibit of Florida Public Health heritage at the Capitol Museum.

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