Health alert issued for Americans in China following fears of sonic attacks

Erika Holt
June 11, 2018

The case revived fears that a U.S. rival has developed some kind of acoustic or microwave device after similar symptoms were reported among American diplomats and their families in Cuba in 2016.

Nauert also said that remaining USA government personnel and their families in Guangzhou would also be able to request testing if they "noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening". It added that Havana had taken note of the most recent case, reported by the United States embassy on May 29, about an employee who was said to have fallen ill as a result of "undefined sounds" at his place of residence. The also examining new potential cases from a U.S. consulate in China.

The evacuated Americans have been transferred to the same facility at the University of Pennsylvania where the government workers in Cuba were sent, an unnamed US official told The Associated Press.

Unlike the relatively small US mission in Cuba, the USA diplomatic presence in China is large with representatives from 33 different federal agencies employed at the embassy in Beijing and the five consulates on the mainland: Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan.

"Symptoms to be attentive for include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping", the warning stated.

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Washington has said in the past that Cuban authorities must take responsibility for the safety of USA diplomats on their soil, but the Havana government denies any knowledge of an attack.

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

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.

Canada in April also ordered families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home after mysterious health symptoms were detected in 10 Canadians stationed on the island. There are about 170 US diplomats or employees and their families in Guangzhou.

"We did not find any cause or clue that leads to the mentioned situation by the United States", she asserted.

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