San Diego State University

SDSU dining-hall worker with TB potentially exposed people for 4 months

Tuberculosis exposure to the general public, SDSU students and faculty, and other employees are considered to be limited, according to the county


San Diego County's Tuberculosis Program and San Diego State University are Thursday working to notify employees potentially exposed to tuberculosis on the SDSU campus, primarily at the Charles B. Bell Jr. Pavilion.

The Bell Pavilion was formally known as East Commons, which houses a food court featuring the Aztec Market, Panda Express, Rubio's, Subway and a Hala Shack, among other dining locations.

The dates of potential exposure are from Feb. 16 to June 22 of this year. Exposures to the general public, SDSU students and faculty and to other employees are considered to be limited, according to the county.

"No classroom spaces were impacted," SDSU said in a statement sent out on Thursday. " At this time, there is only one confirmed case of TB involving the non-faculty employee, who is no longer at SDSU."

Those known to have been potentially exposed have been directly notified and have been provided direction from health officials.

"To ensure transparent awareness, San Diego State University is providing notice that the university is working in collaboration with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Public Health Services (PHS) and Aztec Shops to investigate a tuberculosis (TB) exposure," SDSU said in Thursday's statement.

People sick with TB may be sick for many months before they are diagnosed, and as such, exposure periods can be long.

"Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. "Most people who become infected after exposure to tuberculosis do not get sick right away. This is called latent TB infection. Some who become infected with TB will become ill in the future, sometimes even years later, if their latent TB infection is not treated. Blood tests and skin tests are effective to determine whether someone has been infected."

TB is an airborne disease that is transmitted person-to-person through inhalation of the bacteria from the air. The chance of infection is higher for people with prolonged indoor exposure to a person who is sick with TB.

Individuals who want more information on this potential exposure can call the County TB Control Program at 619-692-8621.

According to county data, the number of people diagnosed with active TB in San Diego County has decreased since the early 1990s and has stabilized in recent years. There were 192 cases in 2020 and 201 people reported with active disease in 2021. In 2022, 208 people were reported with active TB disease in San Diego County.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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