NewsLocal News


SDSU students, infectious disease expert weigh in on Legionnaire's case

Posted at 6:45 AM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-14 09:49:56-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A case of Legionnaire’s disease prompted a closure of a San Diego State University building. SDSU officials said in its email to the campus that at this time, there's just a single case of the virus and any connection to SDSU's campus is unknown.

“I saw and I was a little bit surprised by it. So, I just had to do a little bit of research there. They linked to I think the CDC on the website. So, I just looked it up. I wasn’t super familiar with it. But it sounds kind of crazy. But it looks like they’re taking the right precautions,” said SDSU junior Vicente Riboni.

The Exercise and Nutritional Sciences building has been closed out of an abundance of caution to conduct testing after a “campus community member” had been diagnosed for the virus.

“Definitely a little bit terrifying just to think about it because I do have a class in that building. So just not knowing if I’ve been exposed to that is just unsettling,” said SDSU sophomore Natalie Gates.

The university said in the email the person who was infected is away from campus and recovering. It also said the building will be closed until it’s deemed safe while university and county health officials investigate how and where this person got sick.

While people wait to hear more about the investigation, ABC 10News wants to know more about this virus, which SDSU says can be carried in water systems.

“So, it’s usually associated with ventilation systems which has water and they get little droplets and people breathe in the droplets and that’s how the infection happens. Sometimes it can cause pneumonia and that the more worrisome type of infection,” said Dr. Davey Smith with UC San Diego Health.

Smith said this disease is rare to see in San Diego, and he added places with ventilation systems need to be aware of this kind of contamination possibly happening.

“And it’s probably not anything that they did wrong, it just happened, and you just got to be aware. And then take precautions which it sounds like what San Diego State is doing,” Smith said.

San Diego State said students with classes in that science building should contact instructors if there are any changes to their classes.

It’s vice versa for faculty after they talk to department chairs or their deans.

“I’m confident that they’ll be to figure out the source. And I’m glad that they shut the building down and like let us know everything that’s going on,” Gates said.