USA warns citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound injures consulate worker

23 May, 2018, 19:41 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • US gov't worker reports

The State Department on Wednesday notified USA citizens in China that a government employee suffered a mild brain injury after experiencing abnormal sound and pressure.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a USA embassy official told Reuters. Ten Canadian diplomats and their relatives also suffered a odd illness.

The person experienced "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", a statement said.

"The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday.

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Medical testing revealed the embassy workers in Cuba developed changes to the white-matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate, officials told the Associated Press.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she said.

"While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", it says, urging people with medical problems to consult a doctor.

Previous year in Cuba, the United States reported that some of its personnel and family members experienced a range of ailments, some after hearing an unusual sound.

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The Guangzhou worker started experiencing "a variety of symptoms" starting in late 2017, Nauert said, adding that the symptoms continued through April.

Parallels have been drawn with the suspected sonic attacks in Havana.

The U.S. previous year chose to withdraw a large number of embassy staff from the country after diplomats stationed there complained of symptoms like hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches and fatigue. Media reports have suggested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not been able to verify any evidence to support the sonic weapon theory. The State Department ultimately confirmed 21 cases in Cuba. It ordered half its diplomats on the island to leave and warned Americans against traveling to the Caribbean nation.

The still-unexplained incidents sparked a rift in US-Cuban relations, while investigators have chased theories including a sonic attack, electromagnetic weapon or flawed spying device. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

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The symptoms included dizziness, headaches and a lack of ability to concentrate.

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