Thirty-eight residents of a Newark apartment building were hospitalized and all residents were evacuated from their 3-story, 6-family apartment building, after suffering from “light-headedness, sore throats, itchy, watery eyes and irritated skin,” according to this article from the Star-Ledger (via nj.com).
The building has problems with bed bugs, mice, and fleas, and has been treated for pests recently, and somewhere in there may lie the cause of this outbreak:
No one yet knows what caused residents of 521 S. 17th St. to break out with skin rashes, swollen eyes and sore throats, but officials believe it is somehow related to the infestation or the effort to exterminate the pests. City officials could not immediately say when the building had been last exterminated.
Whether the problems were caused by an allergic reaction to the bed bugs, mice, or fleas present, by a reaction to the pesticides used in the treatment for those pests, or by another cause as yet unknown, this is a very troubling story.
Residents were not allowed to go home tonight, and Mayor Cory Booker is determined to find the cause of this problem. Natural gas, water, and sewage issues have all been ruled out as possible causes.