A board or commission created by the sovereign authority or by municipalities, invested with certain powers and charged with certain duties in relation to the preservation and improvement of the public health. General boards of health are usually charged with general and advisory duties, with the collection of vital statistics, the investigation of sanitary conditions, and the methods of dealing with epidemic and other diseases, the quarantine laws, etc. Such are the national board of health, created by act of congress of March 3, 1879, (20 St. at Large. 484.) and the state boards of health created by the legislatures of most of the states. Local boards of health are charged with more direct and immediate means of securing the public health, and exercise inquisitorial and executive powers in relation to sanitary regulations, offensive nuisances, markets, adulteration of food, slaughterhouses, drains and sewers, and similar subjects. Such boards are constituted in most American cities either by general law, by their charters, or by municipal ordinance, and in England by the statutes, 11 & 12 Vict, c. 63, and 21 & 22 Vict. c. 98, and other acts amending the same. See Gaines v. Waters, 04 Ark. 609, 44 S. W. 353.

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