The Centers for Disease Control reported that seven investigators researching the possible health risks from the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, have become sick, CNN reported.
According to the CDC, nearly half of its 15-person team reportedly suffered from sore throats, coughing, mild headaches, and nausea, the same symptoms documented by area residents after the February 3 derailment.
Last month, the CDC sent a team of investigators comprised of officers and physicians from the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service to East Palestine to conduct house-to-house surveys in the neighborhood closest to the site of the accident.
In a statement to CNN, a representative for the CDC said the symptoms “resolved” for most of the sick team members within the same afternoon and all 15 investigators had resumed their data collection within 24 hours. The seven “impacted” members of the team report no “ongoing health effects,” the rep said.
One official familiar with the incident told CNN that while it is not clear what caused the investigators’ symptoms, the team members did find it suspicious that they all fell ill at the same time from the same symptoms.
The official said that since the symptoms improved not long after the investigators left the area, the incident was not reported to the public.
Government officials and Norfolk Southern Railway have insisted that the water and air surrounding East Palestine were not compromised by the toxic chemicals released during the derailment.
In a separate incident in February, two contractors working for the Environmental Protection Agency reported suffering from symptoms related to strong odors at the site. When they reported the symptoms to the site safety officer, the contractors were told to leave the area and monitor their symptoms. Once the symptoms eased, the contractors were back at work that same day.
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the EPA said no other incidents of illness have been reported by the over 100 EPA personnel working at the site.