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H1N1 scare in Google office
HYDERABAD, JUL 14 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 15 Jul. 2009 1:06 AM IST
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Google India has had to shut down one of its offices in Hyderabad after one of the employees was confirmed to be suffering from the H1N1 flu virus. Of the 250 employees in this particular office of Google, 95 were sent to the AP General and Chest Hospital on Tuesday to undergo the swine flu test. Of these, seven employees showed swine flu symptoms and were quarantined even as Google office shut its office for two days for its premises to be sanitised. The Google employee who tested positive is part of the swine flu cluster of seven that was reported in the city on Monday. Each case in this cluster was infected by a techie who flew to Hyderabad from Houston on July 5. The Google employee had visited the techie at his residence last week. “When this techie (who had flown from Houston) tested positive on Sunday, the Google employee got himself admitted at Chest hospital. He tested positive on Monday,” said Dr K Subhakar, the H1N1 Influenza nodal centre coordinator. Dr Subhakar then contacted Google HR to find out if the employee had visited the office in the last couple of days after coming in contact with the infected techie. As it turned out, he had been to office on two days. “We then asked Google to screen the close contacts of this employee and send them to Chest Hospital,” Dr Subhakar said. This resulted in 95 people visiting the hospital to undergo the test. While some were sent by the company, others were generally worried about having contracted the infection. 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 concerned office in Hyderabad for two days, 14th and 15th July, and are taking all necessary steps, including sanitising of common areas, to protect our employees. However, Dr Subhakar said that there was no need for any company to shut down. “They just have to screen people, be proactive and send only those with symptoms to the hospital,” Dr Subhakar said, who is currently handling calls from various IT firms seeking his appointments for a video-conference with their employees on swine flu awareness. Meanwhile, three more tested positive for swine flu on Tuesday, taking the Hyderabad’s statistic of the infection to 34. These cases include a 35-year-old woman, a software professional who flew down to the city from Florida on Sunday, a 29-year-old techie who came to the city from Sydney and a 28-year-old businessman from Hyderabad had gone to Thailand for work. The results of 21 more suspect cases are still awaited.

 
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