A San Diego State graduate student died Monday night from meningococcal disease, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency.
The 30-year-old man attended three classes at SDSU and lived off campus in Chula Vista, according to HHSA. Officials did not identify the man, but notified students and staff who may have been exposed to the bacteria.
The illness caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides and can be severe if untreated, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The deceased man may have exposed others with close or intimate contact any time from Dec. 3-10, said HHSA.
“While meningococcal disease can be serious and deadly, it is not spread through casual contact. Therefore, the risk to those who were not in close, direct contact is minimal,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer.
Officials said the disease can be spread through close contact, such as sharing utensils or kissing. Symptoms include fever, intense headache, lethargy, stiff neck and/or rash that does not blanch under pressure.
Anyone who develops these symptoms and was in close contact with the individual are encouraged to contact a medical professional immediately.