Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

US Embassy in China sends new alert for mystery health issue

US Embassy in China sends new alert for mystery health issue

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it has brought a group of diplomats home from Guangzhou, China, over concern they were suffering from a mysterious malady that resembles a brain injury and has already affected U.S. personnel in Cuba. But President Donald Trump and other US officials have accused Cuba of having targeted USA personnel with some kind of "acoustic sonic weapon" for unknown reasons, an allegation the Cuban government has forcefully denied.

Earlier this week the U.S. removed diplomats from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, after they reported symptoms and unusual sounds. The United States has said it doesn't know who is behind it, but has argued Cuba is responsible for protecting all diplomats on its soil.

The Penn team, which published its Cuba findings February in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was not able to prove what caused the symptoms in those patients.

More recently, USA diplomats in China also complained of symptoms similar to the ones suffered by colleagues in Cuba.

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The U.S. Embassy in China sent its second alert in two weeks Friday to its citizens over unexplained health issues that have prompted the evacuation of a number of U.S. government employees working at a consulate in a southern city. It called for people to be attentive of symptoms including "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping". It urged them "not to attempt to locate the source of any unidentified auditory sensation".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on June 7 that as far as she was aware there had not been any formal communication between the two countries on any new cases.

The State Department has sent a medical team to China to offer medical screenings to all American government workers and family members who want them.

Of the roughly 170 American consulate staffers and family members in Guangzhou, about 150 sought the offered preliminary medical examinations, according to officials familiar with the process. The U.S. government has deemed those incidents "specific attacks" on American workers but hasn't publicly identified a cause or culprit. There are about 170 US diplomats or employees and their families in Guangzhou.

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