Google shuts down Hyderabad office on swine flu scare

July 14th, 2009

HYDERABAD - The swine flu scare Tuesday forced IT major Google to shut down its Hyderabad office for two days as a precautionary measure.

A company spokesman confirmed that Google has declared two-day holiday for all its employees at Hyderabad office to enable them to be screened for influenza A (N1H1).

All employees of the firm were told to approach Andhra Pradesh Chest Hospital after one employee tested positive for swine flu.

He was among six employees of three different IT companies who contracted the virus from a software engineer who returned to the city from Houston July 5.

The Google authorities have ordered cleaning of all office rooms. The company’s Hyderabad office has 1,100 employees.

“One of our contractual workers in Hyderabad has been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. He has been hospitalised and is under full medical care. As a precautionary measure, we have closed the concerned office in Hyderabad for two days and are taking all necessary steps, including sanitizing of common areas, to protect our employees,” Google spokesman Aman Abbas said.

The 29-year-old techie, who landed here on July 5 but approached the Chest Hospital only on July 11 after he developed swine flu symptoms, spread the infection to employees of the IT companies with whom he worked.

The techie and six others tested positive Monday, spreading the swine flu scare in IT companies in Madhapur here. Employees of one company have already started taking medicines as a precautionary measure.

Health authorities said the swine flu symptoms in the techie could not be detected despite compulsory screening of all air passengers at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. This was the first cluster formation in the city.

An employee of Google who was sharing a room with the affected techie contracted the infection from him.

About 100 employees from Google and two other IT companies Tuesday underwent screening at the Chest Hospital and 10 of them were found to have suspected symptoms of swine flu. They have been quarantined at the hospital and their throat and nasal swab samples were sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), New Delhi.

Meanwhile, three new cases of swine flu were reported Tuesday, taking the city’s tally to 34. According to state

coordinator for swine flu K. Subhakar, three persons who arrived in the city from the US were tested positive.

Eight people, including a two-and-half-year old boy, Monday tested positive.

Filed under Medicine, News, Swine Flu

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