US Embassy in China sends new alert for mystery health issue

Frederick Owens
June 8, 2018

A medical team was screening more Americans who work at the USA consulate in southern China on Thursday as the State Department confirmed it had evacuated a number of government employees who experienced unexplained health issues like those that had beset U.S. personnel in Cuba and once before in China.

On Wednesday the USA government said that it had brought a group of people from that consulate back to the United States for further evaluation of their symptoms, and reiterated that it was offering screening to anyone at the US embassy in Beijing or other consulates in China who requested it. Now more cases have come to light, with "a number" of affected people sent to the United States for further evaluation, according to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

The potential sonic attacks we are now beginning to see are more reminiscent of Cold War era Soviet tactics - but perhaps par for the course of the ever-growing tensions.

Canada said that the 10 continued to show unexplained brain symptoms and that "medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury".

"I think that if there is any problem, the USA can communicate with the Chinese side, and China will continue to adopt a responsible attitude and conduct a serious investigation", she said.

A Chinese government investigation has shed no light on why a USA diplomat fell ill at the consulate in Guangzhou after hearing mysterious sounds, an official said Thursday.

Pompeo told congress that the medical symptoms of the incident in China are similar to those suffered by U.S. diplomats in Cuba allegedly hit by "sonic" attacks.

The state department said the symptoms indicated a "mild traumatic brain injury" and they issued a first warning covering only Guangzhou.

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Symptoms, sounds and sensations reportedly varied dramatically from person to person. China said last month that it had found no explanation.

The New York Times reported that at least two employees removed from China experienced unusual noises while there.

Lenzi also contends that his security clearance was frozen after he attempted to bring attention to the issue, effectively barring him from work at the consulate, and that he is now calling for the resignation of the USA ambassador to China, who is based in Beijing.

In 2017, 24 U.S. diplomats and their family members in Cuba fell victim to mysterious "attacks" that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma. The foreign ministry said it takes its obligation to protect foreign diplomats seriously and is open to conducting further investigations if requested by the U.S.

The China incidents affect one of the most important of the seven US diplomatic outposts in the country. The United States has also not yet revealed how many people are being evacuated.

Secretary Mike Pompeo appears to be trying to avoid the uproar caused previous year after USA lawmakers and the public found out about the medical incidents in Cuba more than six months after they started happening, by some counts.

It's also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

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