The Hygienic Laboratory is a nationally recognized leader in the provision of timely, relevant and effective science-based information to prevent disease and to protect the health and the environment of Iowa and Iowans. Formed in 1904, Iowa's public health and environmental lab was originally staffed by three individuals whose handwritten log reflects testing throughout the state for diseases of the day: typhoid, diphtheria, rabies and tuberculosis.
Today, some 240 individuals work from two labs in Iowa City and Ankeny; their testing results now logged in computer database formats for easy Internet access by partner labs and clients. While the list of diseases Hygienic Lab tests for has grown exponentially, including now such national and global maladies as HIV, Lyme disease and West Nile Virus, diseases of the day are certainly not now the singular concern of the laboratory. Identifying problems before they arise has become a priority for the lab as well. Every Iowan under 40 who was born in the state was screened as a newborn for an ever-increasing list of defects and abnormalities. Through that program alone, the Hygienic Lab has touched the lives of nearly two-thirds of residents today. http://www.shl.uiowa.edu