Montgomery County’s health officer, Ulder Tillman, told County Council members Tuesday she is concerned with an increase in the number of cases of whooping cough and tuberculosis this year.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an infection of the respiratory system most commonly developed in children.
Last year, 24 cases were investigated and 18 were confirmed or probable. This year so far, there have been 90 investigations and almost 60 cases were confirmed or probable, Tillman said.
Councilwoman Nancy Navarro asked what people can do to confirm if they have whooping cough.
If someone has a cough that lasts more than two weeks, they should see their health care provider, Tillman said.
Tuberculosis cases have increased 14 percent so far this calendar year, Tillman said.
Navarro said there needs to be more outreach to families moving here from out of the country regarding tuberculosis, and suggested that the council write a resolution to the county executive regarding the importance of awareness.
Montgomery County has a high percentage of cases compared to the state and the nation because of its demographics and higher than average immigrant population, Tillman said.
Tillman reminded council members of the importance of federal resources and support for tuberculosis, stating that is sometimes one of the first budget items to be cut, and when it is, cases increase.