After several employees in the Monmouth County Courthouse reported feeling ill on Friday the building will be cleaned over the weekend, the county announced at the end of the week.
The employees reportedly experienced a variety of symptoms including shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitation, rash and dizziness. A total of 17 employees reported feeling ill will working on the first floor of the west wing according to a press release from the county.
Those who reported not feeling well received medical attention. Some were released from area hospitals including CentraState Medical Center or were undergoing evaluation.
Sheriff Shaun Golden said the County Emergency Management and Health Department were charged with investigating the situation.
Preliminary results of the investigation point to cut flowers in an employee area as being a possible cause of the illnesses. All the flowers have been thrown away as part of the weekend cleaning process.
"The courthouse will be thoroughly cleaned and be open for business on Monday," Sheriff Golden said.
Kevin Burke, the assistant county administrator said anyone who was in the building today and felt ill should also seek medical treatment. "If a courthouse employee or anyone having business at the courthouse today is experiencing any of the symptoms, we encourage them to go to an emergency room or their private physician," he said. Those people are also asked to contact the county health department at 732-431-7456.
The press release from the county said the illnesses reported in the building are not believed to be contagious. "The county is recommending that employees and anyone else who was at the courthouse on Friday, launder the clothes that they wore separately from other items. Individuals should also shower with soap and water as well."