Two employees of cybersecurity company Exabeam Inc. who attended last month’s annual industry RSA conference in San Francisco, got tested for coronavirus, and they came back positive. The condition of one of the employees is severe because he is prone to pneumonia.
According to the 45-year-old engineer’s wife, the first symptoms appeared when he returned home to Connecticut from California on Feb. 28 after attending an RSA conference. A week later his condition worsened, and the man was hospitalized with a respiratory illness on March 6. The patient was placed in a medical coma and put on a ventilator. According to his wife, he had a high susceptibility to pneumonia because of a heart condition.
RSA released a statement confirming the news that two conference attendees had been diagnosed with coronavirus: "At this time, there is no official statement that these individuals developed symptoms specifically at the conference or that they came to the event during the incubation period."
In addition, one RSA participant confirmed that he also attended the Bsides event before the conference. All RSA participants must now submit to tests.
A spokeswoman for the San Francisco Health Department said she had no information about the cases.
The RSA Annual Conference in San Francisco is one of the leading cybersecurity events in North America. The event took place Feb. 24-28, and conference organizers said it drew more than 36, 000 attendees. The event included dozens of keynote speeches in auditoriums attended by business executives, government officials and journalists. Because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, hand sanitizers were posted prominently throughout RSA, and many attendees replaced the traditional handshake when meeting with elbow touches.
RSA emails to conference attendees included daily reminders that the organizers were closely monitoring the virus situation. RSA also advised conference attendees to follow World Health Organization recommendations to protect themselves from infection.
Meanwhile, 14 companies, including nine Chinese companies, as well as ATT Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. refused to participate on the eve of the event.
Meanwhile and NASA has announced a positive result tests for coronavirus in an employee at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.
In February, Facebook made the decision to to cancel the conference developers and entrepreneurs at F8, which was scheduled for May 5-6. The event has been held annually in San Jose since 2007. Prior to that, a similar decision was was made by the GSMA which is the organizer of the world’s largest mobile industry exhibition, Mobile World Congress. The exhibition was to be held from February 24 to 27.
NVIDIA has already announced that that it would hold the GTC (GPU Technology Conference), which had been planned for March 22-26, as an online event. Game Developers Conference 2020 organizers moved their event to the summer.
The Adobe Summit, Microsoft’s Seattle MVP event, the Open Compute Project Global Summit, and the GoogleTensorFlow Dev Summit, a two-day event for machine learning developers, have already been canceled.
Google cancelled the face-to-face part of Google’s worldwide developer conference, Google I/O, in California.
In all, more than 117, 000 episodes of the disease have been identified worldwide since the first cases of coronavirus were reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The virus has already reached 104 countries and has caused more than 4, 000 deaths to date.
There are 154 confirmed cases in California, including 94 in the Bay Area. More than 10, 000 residents are under quarantine.