At least one summer associate in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown appears to have contracted swine flu (aka the H1N1 virus), according to a firm memo that was circulated within the past hour. In addition, a second associate has been showing symptoms.
Quipped one of the many tipsters who sent this our way: “As though summer associates didn’t have it bad enough already this year:” Said a second source: “Rumor is that a lot of people are not feeling well.”
The Windy City has been hard hit by swine flu. As Tim Hadac, a spokesman for the Department of Public Health, told the Chicago Tribune, “This virus is spreading everywhere in the city right now.” On Sunday, a 22-year-old man — roughly the age of an average summer associate, maybe a bit younger — died of swine flu.
A spokesperson for Mayer Brown confirmed the news but did not offer much in the way of additional detail. One of the summer associates had a nasal swab test come back positive for swine flu, but this test is not definitive. According to the spokesperson, doctors have not performed a blood test — which would be definitive — because such tests are being reserved for the elderly and the young.
The affected summers and their officemates, who started at the firm just last week, won’t be coming into work for the rest of this week. From the memo:
Mayer Brown has been notified that a summer associate in the Chicago Office may have contracted the H1N1 virus. Another summer associate is also showing symptoms of this virus These summer associates are under medical care and will be staying at home. As a precaution, we have instructed the summer associates who share an office with the affected summer associates to remain at home for the balance of the week.
Read the full memo, after the jump.
MAYER BROWN — MEMORANDUM — H1N1 VIRUS
From: Thompson, Allan
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 4:44 PM [Central time]
To: CHI-Non-Lawyers-All Bldgs; CHI-Lawyers-All Bldgs
Subject: H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)
Mayer Brown has been notified that a summer associate in the Chicago Office may have contracted the H1N1 virus. Another summer associate is also showing symptoms of this virus These summer associates are under medical care and will be staying at home. As a precaution, we have instructed the summer associates who share an office with the affected summer associates to remain at home for the balance of the week. Other summer associates, and other lawyers and employees, who have concerns about their health or the situation are encouraged to consult with their supervisors and are also encouraged to consult with their physician.
Employees are encouraged to continue to follow published protocols of frequent hand washing and anyone who exhibits flu-like symptoms should remain home and consult with their physician. We are monitoring closely the news about swine flu and related advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). To review the CDC’s website for current and in-depth information about swine flu click www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
Please note the importance of staying home if you become ill with a fever or other serious flu-like symptoms. If you do experience such symptoms, we ask that you contact Allan Thompson, Director of Administration. You should seek medical care and return to work when you receive medical clearance to do so.
The CDC also issued a travel alert recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. Please contact your HR manager or Director of Administration if you do travel to Mexico in the near term.
It is our hope this public health situation will be resolved quickly and as additional precautions or restrictions become available, we will let you know.
Director of Administration
Mayer Brown LLP