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Swine flu: Google shuts office

Google’s India headquarters based in Hyderabad has shut down one of its offices for two days after...

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
July 15, 2009 1:29:48 am

Google’s India headquarters based in Hyderabad has shut down one of its offices for two days after one of the employees was confirmed to be suffering from the H1N1 flu virus.

After the employee tested positive,the search engine sent at least 100 employees to the Government General and Chest Hospital at Erragadda to undergo tests. Officials at the hospital said at least half a dozen employees were detected with swine flu symptoms and have been quarantined.

The employee,who had gone to Houston on a training assignment and returned to the city on July 5,passed through the screening at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

“It appears that he was carrying the virus,which manifested itself only after he joined duty at the Hyderabad office. Others probably contracted infection from him,” Dr K Subhakar,coordinator,H1N1 Influenza nodal centre coordinator set up in Hyderabad,said.

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“I contacted the Google office who told me that the person had been attending office for the past two days. I asked the firm to screen the close contacts of this employee and send them to Chest Hospital,” Dr Subhakar said. As many as 95 people visited the hospital to undergo the test.

An official statement released by Google said that one of its contractual workers in Hyderabad had been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus and was hospitalised. “As a precautionary measure,we have closed the office concerned in Hyderabad for two days,starting July 14,and are taking all necessary steps,including sanitising of common areas,to protect our employees,” the statement read.

This is the 12th such incident where people arriving from abroad have passed through the screening at the international airport but have ended up infecting those who came in contact with them.

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