US Consulate in China under sonic attack -- just like in Cuba

10 June, 2018, 08:21 | Author: Jason Torres
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Last year, 24 us government employees and family members in Cuba displayed the symptoms, which were similar to those related to concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, according to the State Department.

"If you or members of your family experience any unusual, unexplained physical symptoms of events, auditory or sensory phenomena. please contact your health care provider", the alert said.

AP recently reported the US State Department has determined the incidents in Cuba were "specific attacks" on diplomats is trying to cut staffing numbers by more than 50%.

The mystery illness, apparently caused by unexplained sounds heard in diplomats' homes in China, appears similar to a series of cases that struck USA and Canadian diplomats and their families in Cuba beginning in late 2016.

Mark Lenzi, a Foreign Service officer who was evacuated from Guangzhou this week along with his wife and 3-year-old son, described the noise as something like "marbles bouncing and hitting a floor, then rolling on an incline with a static sound".

"The medical screenings are ongoing for any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening", State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the employees were sent to the USA for a "further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms and findings". That's where doctors have been treating and studying patients previously evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

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.

A USA official said the evacuated Americans are being brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania.

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The symptoms were similar to those found in the case of USA diplomatic personnel who worked in Cuba, including mild traumatic brain injury.

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".

The U.S. State Department expanded a health alert Friday for American staffers in China, about two days after it evacuated diplomats and relatives over a mysterious acoustic illness.

"The health, safety and security of our diplomatic staff and their families overseas is our top priority", the statement says.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month about the first case in China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had "said all the right things and have demonstrated their willingness to help us identify the vector which led to this medical incident".

The US embassy in China has issued a new alert over a mystery illness affecting some of its diplomats. It is also the only US diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

In the alert, the State Department compared the employee's injuries to those suffered by U.S. personnel and their families in Cuba between 2016 and 2017.

Folks working in The Canton Place complicated, a couple of kilometers (miles) from the consulate, mentioned they had been simply listening to in regards to the incidents, reflecting an absence of protection in China's completely state-controlled media.

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".

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