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Monmouth Courthouse Closed Wednesday for Allergen Testing

Authorities working to determine source of dozens of illnesses

The will again be closed Wednesday as county officials continue to test for the source of what caused about .

William K. Heine, director of public information, said in a release that the Freehold building will be sweeped Wednesday in search of possible allergens on workers' desks. The courthouse will be cleaned once testing is complete.

The courthouse was closed today after two days of mysterious illnesses forced evacuations. On Friday, including shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations, rash and dizziness. The building was cleared Monday after dozens fell ill and 30 were hospitalized.

“All the tests so far have ruled out the most probable causes for the symptoms that were reported by employees and other individuals with business at the courthouse,” Heine said. “We have ruled out possible causes that could be related to housekeeping, construction and general building maintenance.”

Thus far, county officials have come up empty on the source of the physical symptoms.

The State Police's Hazardous Materials Unit was called in Monday to test for thousands of different possible compounds and found nothing, Heine said. The courthouse was tested for dust, pollen and mold Tuesday, with nothing troubling found.

Additionally, the courthouse's HVAC systems have been checked, and the air filters have been changed. Heine said the construction area at the building also has been inspected, to no avail.

“If a courthouse employee or anyone having business at the courthouse is experiencing any of the symptoms, we encourage them to go to the emergency room or their private physician,” Heine said. “We also ask that they contact the county health department at 732-431-7456 to report any symptoms.”

Heine advises that there doesn't appear to be any danger of the illness being contagious. However, anyone who was at the courthouse since Friday are urged to launder their clothes separately from other apparel.

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