The city of Killeen released more details this week about a skunk that has been wreaking havoc on the city’s information technology building downtown for more than a month.
“Approximately half of the 15 employees” in the building went home sick since mid-May, said Hilary Shine, Killeen spokeswoman.
In addition to traps, the city has used several chemicals to eradicate the skunk odors, including Nature’s Miracle Odor Remover, Lysol disinfectant spray, Febreze Air Effects and household vinegar.
It was unclear whether the illnesses were caused by the skunk or by the chemicals.
“I don’t know, was it Febreze that made them sick of the skunk?” Shine said.
Employees have reported headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation associated with the incident. Some have sought medical attention.
“Last week, four employees went home sick on Wednesday and Thursday and sought medical attention at an urgent care clinic,” Shine said in an email.
Staff was relocated to the Killeen Arts & Activities Center for two weeks in May and returned to the building, located in the 200 block of Avenue D, only to be moved again after the varmint returned.
Both the Texas Department of State Health Services and Bell County Health and Human Services, environmental services division, said they were not able to assist in ousting the creature.
“Staff contacted the Texas Department of State Health Service, which advised that it was unaware of any health issues related to skunk odors,” Shine said.
The Killeen Daily Herald has not received information requested this week through the Texas Public Information Act regarding which employees reported feeling ill and whether complaints had been filed against the city.