U.S. expands China health alert after acoustic incident


On Friday, the U.S. Embassy in China issued a second health alert about a mysterious illness caused by unexplained sounds.

"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. Most of the incidents were accompanied by freaky, unexplained sounds that initially led US investigators to suspect a sonic attack.

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.

The American Foreign Service Association said the sick embassy staffers were diagnosed with "mild traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss, with such additional symptoms as loss of balance, severe headaches, cognitive disruption, and brain swelling", reported the Washington Post.

Lenzi told the Times he lived in the same flat tower as the officer who had been evacuated in April and that he had suffered in recent months from what he called "neurological symptoms".

The State Department, which reported the latest medical evacuations on Wednesday, has not accused any particular country or organisation of being behind the latest incidents.

She said tests are being offered to "any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening".

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".

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 USA official told The Associated Press.

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"The embassy will continue to operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions, similar to the level of emergency staffing maintained during ordered departure", the State Department said in a statement.

After the first incident in Guangzhou, medical tests were offered to U.S. government employees and family members who requested it, the State Department said.

The Penn group mentioned the sufferers from Cuba skilled persistent incapacity although rehabilitation remedy custom-made for them appeared to assist.

"The health, safety and security of our diplomatic staff and their families overseas is our top priority", the statement says. Canada said the 10 continued to show unexplained brain symptoms and that "medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury". Former State Department officials and diplomatic experts have pointed to similar incidents causing permanent cognitive issues occurring against USA diplomats in Russian Federation during the Cold War.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the launch of The Health Incidents Response Task Force, which had been created to respond to the unexplained ailments, including testing workers and families at the Guangzhou consulate.

It serves 4 southern provinces with a mixed inhabitants of greater than 204 million and processes greater than 1 million visa functions of all kinds yearly. It is also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorised to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

"We are working to figure out what took place, both in Havana and now in China as well", he said.

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".

"For me I feel it's very unusual".