Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

American diplomats fall ill in China after hearing odd noises

American diplomats fall ill in China after hearing odd noises

The US Consulate in Guangzhou, China.

"At present, there's been no discovery of clues or the reason causing the situation the United States mentioned", Hua told a regular news briefing in Beijing, adding that China protected diplomats according to global convention.

"U.S. medical professionals will continue to conduct full evaluations to determine the cause of the reported symptoms and whether the findings are consistent with those noted in previously affected government personnel or possibly completely unrelated", Nauert said. It was unclear if there was any connection to last year's situation in Cuba where 24 USA government employees experienced a range of ailments after hearing an unusual sound.

The State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from the USA consulate in Guangzhou, China, on Wednesday after they began showing signs of a mysterious illness, The New York Times reported.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said those evacuated would undergo further medical assessments at the University of Pennsylvania.

For months, American officials have been anxious that their diplomats have been subjected to targeted attacks involving odd sounds, leading to symptoms similar to those "following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury", the State Department said. The Guangzhou employee was found to have similar symptoms on May 16. A State Department statement this week listed the symptoms as "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping". The force is investigating reports of hearing, vision, balance and memory damage.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that as far as she was aware, the government had not had any formal communication with USA officials on any new cases, and that it had investigated an initial incident.

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Officials said they expected that at least some others would be flown out of the country as well.

A paramilitary police officer guards the entrance to the USA embassy in Beijing on April 5. Cuba has denied involvement.

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

President Donald Trump has said he believed Cuba knew about the attacks and could have stopped them. That's where doctors have been treating and studying patients evacuated from the US Embassy in Havana.

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, in southern China, officially opened in 1979 and moved to its current location in 2013.

The State Department acknowledged the Lenzi incident late last month.

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