Google, which has faced criticism for spreading videos that promote dubious anti-vaccine information, is in contact with health officials about a case of the measles involving a Google employee in Silicon Valley, according to a BuzzFeed report on Wednesday.
The incident was revealed in an email sent to Google employees, obtained by BuzzFeed, which stated that one of its employees working out of its Mountain View, California offices had been diagnosed with the measles. That worker had been at Google’s office on 1295 Charleston Road on April 4, the email said.
The measles is a highly contagious disease that can linger and infect people, even when the sick person is not present.
The virus had been eliminated in the US by 2000, but cases have recently resurfaced, partly, public health officials have said, because of the spread of anti-vax information on social media. As of last week, there are 555 cases of the measles across the US.
YouTube, the video website owned by Google, has been criticized for allowing so-called anti-vax videos to proliferate. YouTube has said it considers the videos to be “dangerous or harmful,” but still allows them on its site. YouTube does not allow anti-vax content to be monetized— meaning that it won’t run ads alongside the videos.
“We have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies,” a YouTube spokesperson told Business Insider in February. “We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video that violates them, we immediately take action and remove ads.”
A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment about the measles case on its campus.
The BuzzFeed report said that 1295 Charleston Road is home to a number of Google executives, though the exact number of employees working out of that building is unknown.
The email, which was sent to some, but not all, Google employees according to BuzzFeed, said that the company was working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department on the issue and that the notice was “just a precaution.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Public Health Department told Business Insider: “San Mateo County Health has confirmed a case of measles in one of their residents who visited Google in Santa Clara County. This case is not connected to previous cases in Santa Clara County, and there is no additional risk to the public.”
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