Ernst & Young has alerted its staff that one of its New York City employees is suffering from swine flu, although the firm later seemed uncertain of the diagnosis.

The firm released a statement Monday evening to the local CBS News station saying that a staff member had become ill over the weekend after contact with a family member who had been exposed to the swine flu virus.

“An employee in our offices at 5 Times Square was diagnosed on Sunday with swine flu, which she contracted from a family member,” said the statement. “The individual had not been in offices since last Thursday. According to the Center for Disease Control, the disease has a 24-hour incubation period. Given the time frame, we believe that it is unlikely that any other of our people have been infected.

“The health of our people is our foremost priority. Since learning of the diagnosis, we have followed the procedures outlined by the Center for Disease Control, including closing the offices on the floor where she worked and retaining a skilled sanitation service to clean the area,” the statement continued. “We have alerted our people and have told them to feel free to work from home if they would be more comfortable doing so. We have also notified the appropriate authorities.”

However, the firm later said the report of swine flu might not be true. “Based on new information, we can no longer confirm that an Ernst & Young employee who works in the 5 Times Square building has a verified case of swine flu,” spokesman Charles Perkins said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken appropriate steps to protect the health of our employees.”

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