USA expands China health alert amid illness reports

Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star

Earlier, the USA embassy in China issued a health alert today after a United States government employee experienced an "abnormal" sound and suffered a mild brain injury - in an incident reminiscent of a mysterious illness that hit diplomats in Cuba. "Practically all Chinese people do not believe that this country's official organizations would carry out such sonic attacks against US diplomats".

Secretary Mike Pompeo appears to be trying to avoid the uproar caused previous year after US lawmakers and the public found out about the medical incidents in Cuba more than six months after they started happening, by some counts.

The symptoms, which first appeared in late 2016 in Havana, include "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping".

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

The medics arrived on May 31 and soon after, the State Department evacuated at least two Americans showing signs of the baffling sickness, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

President Trump, Tillerson, and State Department officials have said they believe the Cuban government knows what occurred and who is responsible. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" had been brought to the USA but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated. The U.S. diplomatic presence in Havana was scaled back and 15 Cuban diplomats were sent home from the United States in retaliation for their country's apparent failure to protect diplomats.

Evacuations of a number of USA government employees working at a consulate in a southern city took place, raising concerns among other Americans in China. The U.S. authorities has deemed these incidents "particular assaults" on American employees however hasn't publicly recognized a trigger or wrongdoer.

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 individuals affected in Cuba indicated that they had sensory and memory problems similar to brain dysfunctions often associated with concussions.

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The latest American employee evacuated from a USA consulate in China after suffering from mysterious neurological symptoms is accusing State Department officials of failing to inform him and others about another employee's similar health concerns until a month after the other staffer was evacuated.

Screening has also been offered to employees at the country's embassy in Beijing and other USA consulates on request.

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

The China incidents affect one of the most important of the seven United States diplomatic outposts in the country.

"The Health Incidents Response Task Force serves as the coordinating body for Department and interagency activities, including identification and treatment of affected personnel and family members, investigation and risk mitigation, messaging, and diplomatic outreach", Pompeo's statement debuting the task force read. It's also the one USA diplomatic set up in China licensed to course of immigrant visas and deal with adoptions.

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few miles from the consulate, said they were just hearing about the incidents, reflecting a lack of coverage in China's entirely 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". "However I do not really feel that there is one thing to be very afraid of as a result of it is most likely a really particular case", Chen mentioned.

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