TREMONT, Ill. (WMBD) — Leaders at the Tazewell County Health Department reports an 88% uptick in gonorrhea cases between 2019 and 2020.
Epidemiologists Amanda Marcanio said the number is still below the state and national average for cases. There were 169 reported cases in the county in 2020.
Marcanio said the increase in cases is concerning since sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread easily. She said it is also likely some cases are going unreported.
“When it comes to STIs, a lot of times, we’re not seeing anything, we’re not seeing any sort of symptoms, which means if someone is not getting tested, they might have it and it’s just there and they’re spreading it,” said Marcanio.
STIs and STDs are preventable, Marcanio emphasized. She also encouraged people to get tested at least once a year, if not more often.
“There are lots of ways to prevent them. Obviously, abstinence is number one, so not having sex. But if someone is choosing to have sex, having those resources like condoms, getting tested on a yearly basis,” said Marcanio.
People can get tested at the Tazewell County Health Department clinic on Tuesdays. It is open by appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Central Illinois Friends in Peoria also offers free testing.