Sunday, 24 June, 2018

More Americans screened over mystery health issues in China

RTX5GZ5A Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star
Jay Anderson | 10 June, 2018, 08:25

The U.S. government has deemed those incidents "specific attacks" on American workers but hasn't publicly identified a cause or culprit.

"China has conducted a very careful investigation and has given preliminary findings to the U.S., and we haven't found the reason or clues that led to the situation mentioned by the U.S. China has always followed the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and consular relations to protect the U.S. diplomatic staff and staff from other countries".

The China incidents have raised fears that unexplained incidents that started in Cuba in 2016 have spread to China.

The employees reported hearing loud, grating noises before experiencing hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.

Lenzi told The Times he lived in the same apartment tower as the officer evacuated in April and suffered in recent months from what he called "neurological symptoms".

The State Department has warned that U.S. diplomats should alert their mission's medical staff "if they note new onset of symptoms that may have begun in association with experiencing unidentified auditory sensations".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" had been brought to the U.S. but did not say how many were affected or evacuated.

To date, 24 diplomats and family members who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Havana have been medically confirmed as suffering from a range of symptoms that seem to be associated with a high-pitched sound and other auditory sensations.

US citizens living in China received a second alert on Friday over the unexplained health issues that prompted the evacuation of a number of government employees working at a consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou.




The US State Department on Friday issued an expanded health alert for China over concerns for the safety of US personnel in the country following reports of a series of mysterious acoustic incidents.

In September, the State Department issued a health warning to USA citizens in Cuba after at least 21 diplomats fell ill with similar symptoms after hearing unusual sounds.

Requested in regards to the newest incidents, Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying mentioned the US had not formally raised the matter with Beijing.

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.

Earlier this week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set up a health task force to develop a multi-agency response to the incidents in China and Cuba. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that as far as she was aware the Chinese government had not had any formal communication with US officials on any new cases. Former State Department officials and diplomatic experts have pointed to similar incidents causing permanent cognitive issues occurring against US diplomats in Russian Federation during the Cold War.

More than 2 million USA citizens travel to China each year, and about 175,000 Americans hold Chinese resident visas.

Last year, 24 U.S. 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.

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few kilometers (miles) from the consulate, said Thursday they were just hearing about the incidents, reflecting a lack of coverage in China's entirely state-controlled media.

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