Montgomery County Issues Report on Infectious Diseases

County health officials have released the first Report on Infectious Disease for Montgomery County that includes information and data on infectious diseases in the county.

The “Report on Infectious Disease, 2013-2017, Montgomery County, Maryland” highlights where Montgomery County stands in comparison to state and the nation on infectious disease.

"Though Montgomery County performs better than state and national averages related to measuring the burden of infectious disease overall, the county has experienced an increase in sexually transmitted infections (e.g. gonorrhea, chlamydia) that mirror state and national trends, and a rise in both active and latent tuberculosis (TB) cases. DHHS programs work closely with state and federal agencies to reduce disease burdens and improve population health in the county," said Dr. Travis A. Gayles, county health officer. "Our goal is to utilize the data to enhance our many successful current health programs and develop new, innovative and effective programs that are directly applicable to meeting the public health needs of Montgomery County."

Overall, Montgomery County performs better than state and national averages related to measuring the burden of infectious disease. A closer examination of the overall averages, however, reveals several conditions with increasing trends and demonstrated disparities by race/ethnicity, age, sex, and geographic area that warrant special attention.

Findings of the report include:

  • The county's population is becoming more diverse over time; the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations have increased while the non-Hispanic White population is decreasing.
  • The county has comparable or lower rates of most reportable diseases than Maryland.
  • The county has higher rates of TB than Maryland and the U.S. over the past five years. Asian and Pacific Islander residents have the highest TB rates, as compared to other groups. Residents ages.

25-44 have the highest TB rates, followed by ages 20-24.

  • Though consistently lower than Maryland and the U.S., the sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) in the county have increasing trends.
  • While females have higher rates of chlamydia, males have higher rates of gonorrhea and syphilis for sexually transmitted infections. Non-Hispanic Blacks have the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections than other groups. Residents aged 20-24 have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, followed by ages 15-19. Residents aged 25-44 have the highest syphilis rates, followed by ages 20-24.
  • The county has lower HIV rates than Maryland, but higher than the U.S. over the years, with a decreasing trend. Males have higher HIV rates; non-Hispanic Blacks have the highest HIV rates.

The report serves as a supplement to the “Health in Montgomery County 2008-2016, A Surveillance Report on Population Health.” Both reports can be found online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/hhs/pubsdeptdata/pubsdeptdataindex.html.

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