US says envoys in China hit by mystery illness

Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star

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Now the American embassy in China has sent its second alert in two weeks to citizens warning of unexplained health issues that have prompted a number of United States government employees working at a consulate in a southern city to be moved back to the US.

The health alert was issued May 23 in Guangzhou after a staffer at the us consulate there was diagnosed with a mild brain injury.

The tests were prompted after a previous case in the Guangzhou consulate was disclosed last month.

The China incidents have raised fears the unexplained incidents that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday that China would be willing to help the United States uncover the causes of the illness.

The evacuations of employees in Guangzhou adopted medical testing that exposed they could have been affected.

"As a result of the screening process so far, the Department has sent a number of individuals for further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms and findings in the United States", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The employees reported hearing loud, grating noises before experiencing hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. Instead, it said, they should move to a different location.

Several workers at US consulates in China have been evacuated after complaining of hearing odd sounds, then becoming ill.

"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the US government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

The Embassy Beijing and five USA consulates in China, she said, held "townhall meetings" on May 23 "to allow employees to ask questions and raise concerns directly with senior leadership".

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"If the U.S. makes formal contact with us, China will continue necessary investigations in an earnest and responsible manner and maintain close communication and cooperation with the U.S.", Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

Speaking in Washington in May, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China had been investigating the incident but hadn't yet found the source of the "sonic influence".

The US State Department on Friday issued an expanded health alert for all of China amid reports some US diplomats based in the country had experienced a mysterious malady that resembles a brain injury and has already affected USA personnel in Cuba.

The nationwide alert advises us personnel to contact a doctor if they experience unusual or unexplained physical symptoms.

This was consistent with symptoms experienced by some USA personnel in Cuba.

The Penn team has said the patients experienced persistent disability though rehabilitation therapy customized for them seemed to help.

In April, Canada also ordered families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home after mysterious health symptoms were detected in 10 Canadians stationed there.

Nauert said the "medical screenings are ongoing".

Within a week, Secretary Mike Pompeo approved the task force, according to a statement Tuesday. Former State Department officials and diplomatic experts have pointed to similar incidents causing permanent cognitive issues occurring against US diplomats in Russian Federation during the Cold War. It's also the one USA diplomatic set up in China licensed to course of immigrant visas and deal with adoptions.

Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday that the State Department was "trying to work through it" and it was "obviously" concerned "about the health and safety of its diplomats".

Linda Chen, who runs a espresso store within the space, mentioned she was mystified as to why exclusively sure individuals appeared to have been affected in an space recognized for its consolation and security. Some of those individuals didn't feel or hear anything odd, but others reported hearing unusual noises that some have linked to "sonic attacks".

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