As the number of reported measles cases escalates across the US, it is interesting to note that a case of the highly contagious disease has hit a Big Tech headquarters.

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.

The America Medical Association recently slammed Google for promoting the proliferation of anti-vaccination misinformation.

The nation’s most influential physician organization on Wednesday sent a letter to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube expressing concern that their respective internet media channels are spreading false information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and as a result have been driving parents to not immunize their children.

On a more serious note,lLast week, I reported that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a measles emergency, and force  parents to vaccinate their children under the threat of fines. An Anti-vaccination group is suing New York City for the mandate.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of the Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit Monday against the city’s Department of Health and Human Hygiene for pushing the mandate. Kennedy Jr., a noted environmental activist and attorney, is calling for a temporary restraining order, labeling the mandate “capricious, contrary to law” and exceeding “lawful authority.”

“Rather than using available legal mechanisms such as isolation or quarantine under Public Health Law §2100,” the lawsuit reads, “respondents have imposed not only severe criminal and civil penalties for not vaccinating but have stated that persons not vaccinated ‘shall be vaccinated against measles,’ thus introducing the specter of unjustifiable forced vaccination to Williamsburg and the City of New York.”

To highlight just how serious a case of measles can be, a flight attendant in Israel is now in a coma after being infected with the virus.

Israeli health officials told CNN that the 43-year-old woman has encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and has been in a “deep coma” for 10 days. She is unable to breathe on her own and is on a respirator.

The measles virus, though most well-known for its telltale rash, can cause serious complications. Such complications are most common in children younger than 5 and adults over 20, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is important to note that the Israeli woman received only one dose of the measles vaccine as a child. Adults who received only one dose of the measles vaccine as children should consider getting a second dose; the second dose has been standard practiced since 1989, when it was determined it substantially enhanced immunity against the disease.

Finally, an epidemic of the highly contagious disease is raging in Madagascar. Over 100,000 cases have been reported, and there has been over 1200 deaths.

Madagascar is currently facing the largest measles outbreak in its history, as cases have grown beyond 115,000, according to AP.

Only 58 percent of people on the main island have been vaccinated against the disease, a huge reason for its recent spread. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the outbreak has impacted mostly children under the age of 15 since it began in September. AP says more than 1,200 people have died over the past seven months.

The World Health Organization is now working to vaccinate over 7 million children in the island nation, and it appears the rate of new infections is slowly decreasing.

 
 
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