Outbreaks across the U.S. have forced officials to declare emergencies. Why are we starting to see the rise of these outbreaks? It dates back to the anti-vax movement.
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Some Google employees were warned that a worker diagnosed with measles visited the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters earlier this month, according to a report.
David Kaye, a staff doctor, sent an email last week alerting some employees that the worker had been at the office at 1295 Charleston Rd. on April 4, BuzzFeed News reported. Kaye said the health department wanted the company to share the measles advisory but added that the email is “just a precaution,” according to BuzzFeed.
The email did not go to all Google employees, and the source who provided it to BuzzFeed told the outlet they believed it went only to those who worked in the building on Charleston Road.
The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department confirmed that someone with measles visited the Google campus.
“This case is not connected to previous cases in Santa Clara County, and there is no additional risk to the public,” according to a statement from the health department.
When alerted to a suspected case of measles, the department conducts an investigation to identify individuals who might have come into contact with the contagious person, trace each place where the individual might have spent time, and then tries to identify people who might have been exposed in those places, the statement explained.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 555 cases have been confirmed in 20 states in 2019, the second-highest total since measles was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000.
The surge has been fueled in part by the anti-vaccination movement – most people who contract measles have not been vaccinated, the CDC said. Measles is so contagious that if one person has the disease, up to 90% of the people close to that person will become infected if they are not immune, the CDC warned.
Google’s video streaming platform YouTube has come under fire recently for allowing ads to play during videos on channels that promote anti-vaccine agendas. The ads were removed, but not before angering advertisers who were unaware that their ads ran alongside anti-vaccination videos.
“We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content have been and remain a violation of our longstanding harmful or dangerous advertising policy. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them we immediately take action and remove ads,” YouTube said in a statement.
Contributing: John Bacon and Sonja Haller, USA TODAY
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
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