Google worker infected with measles visited California campus

Henrietta Strickland
April 19, 2019

Health officials in California have confirmed that an employee at Google visited the tech giant's campus in Silicon Valley while suffering from measles.

In an email sent to some Google staffers on Saturday, obtained by Buzzfeed News, David Kaye, one of the company's staff doctors, announced that at least one employee has been diagnosed with measles.

"A Googler who was in Charleston 1295 [a Google office] on Thursday, April 4, has been diagnosed with measles", Kaye wrote, noting that this "is just a precaution".

The BuzzFeed report said that 1295 Charleston Road is home to a number of Google executives, though the exact number of employees working out of that building is unknown. Google did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

Britt Ehrhardt, public health communications officer for the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, said that there is "no additional risk to the community" and that the person who visited Google is not linked to the other cases in Santa Clara county. The person in question was not named.

Google has faced backlash in recent months for promoting anti-vaccine content on its video streaming platform, YouTube.

CNN reported that Congressman Adam Schiff in February sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urging the company to crack down on anti-vaxxers spreading inaccurate information about potential side effects and risks associated with the measles vaccine.

'I am writing out of my concern that YouTube [owned by Google] is surfacing and recommending messages that discourage parents from vaccinating their children, a direct threat to public health, and reversing progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases, ' the California Democrat wrote.

"The person was a resident of San Mateo County, but the exposure occurred in Santa Clara (County), so we took the lead of ensuring that anyone in Santa Clara County got proper follow", Cody said at a press conference Wednesday.

The measles has recently made a resurgence in the US with 550 cases this year, the second highest of any year since 2000.

The April 4 incident at Google is not related to four recent cases of measles reported in Santa Clara County, where measles vaccination rates are at almost 97 per cent, reported ABC 7 News.

"The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department worked with Google to contact individuals in our county who might have come in contact with the person with measles while they may have been contagious", a Santa Clara county spokeswoman said in an email. In a March statement, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revealed that a traveler carrying measles had passed through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on February 21. This allows health officials to inform those who have been in the places where there has been a possible measles exposure.

The CDC attributes the uptick in measles cases over the past decade to a rise in global travelers who get measles overseas and bring it back into the US and pockets of vaccinated USA citizens.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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