As the 20th century draws to a close, Iowa’s top doctor says her job would be much different if this were 1899 instead of 1999. State epidemiologist Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says the Hawkeye State faced an entirely different onslaught of disease one-hundred years ago.The top killers a hundred years ago were pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea. Dr. Quinlisk says back then, most Iowa families didn’t think it was unusual to lose several children to any number of diseases.Quinlisk says the long lives many Iowans are enjoying today aren’t necessarily the result of new medications or surgical techniques. She says clean water and sewage treatment helped irradicate many of the problems. Also, knocking out many mosquitoes help get rid of malaria.While most Iowans are now living an average of 77 years, Quinlisk says in the last century, it only would’ve been about half that. The average age of Americans in 1900 was 47 years old for whites, 33 for blacks.
You are here: / / Iowa health official notes dramatic changes