Google employees may have been exposed to measles after a San Mateo resident diagnosed with the virus “spent some time” at the Mountain View headquarters within the last couple of weeks, health officials said.
Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer and public health director, would not confirm whether the San Mateo resident was an employee of Google.
“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.
Buzzfeed reported that a physician at Google sent a letter to employees notifying them that a worker who had visited the tech giant’s office at 1295 Charleston Road on April 4 had recently been diagnosed with measles.
“We have been working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and they would like us to share this measles advisory, which contains information on measles, exposure risks and actions to be taken,” Buzzfeed reported that physician wrote to employees on April 13.
So far this year, four measles cases have been confirmed in Santa Clara County and San Mateo County respectively.
In Santa Clara County, vaccination rates among children are high, with over 97 percent on average in public schools and over 94 percent on average in private schools, according to the county’s website.
Therefore, Cody said the vast majority of residents don’t have anything to be concerned about. “It’s unusual to see spread of illness because of these vaccination rates,” she said.
“The reason county health departments take measles so seriously is because of infants,” Cody said. “Infants are usually not vaccinated until they’re a year old, so the way to protect infants is to ensure the community is vaccinated.”
At least 555 measles cases, including 21 in California, have been confirmed across the country so far this year — the second highest number of cases reported in a single year since the disease was declared domestically eradicated in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC attributes the uptick in measles cases over the past decade to a rise in international travelers who get measles abroad and bring it back into the U.S. and pockets of vaccinated U.S. citizens.
Measles symptoms, which can appear seven to 21 days after exposure, include a high fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes, followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.
People with measles are infectious from four days before a rash appears to four days after.