USA evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

U.S. evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

BEIJING-The U.S. State Department on June 8 issued an expanded health alert for all of China amid reports that some U.S. diplomats based in the country had experienced a mysterious malady resembling a brain injury.

"The State Department received medical confirmation that a US government employee in China suffered a medical incident consistent with what other USA government personnel experienced in Havana, Cuba", the statement said, reiterating comments made last month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The two new individuals removed from Cuba were medically evaluated in just the past few weeks, two officials said.

A USA medical team has been screening more personnel and their family members who work in Guangzhou this week in order to determine who may have been affected.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday that its investigation into the first case has not yielded any clues as to the cause of the incident.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, responded past year by sharply drawing down U.S. Embassy staff in Havana and in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats.

"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. It advised them "not to attempt to locate the source of any unidentified auditory sensation".

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Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, recalled that from the first report on the mysterious sonic affection, studies were carried on and conclusions were presented to USA authorities.

A USA official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, said the evacuated American government workers were being brought from China for testing to the University of Pennsylvania.

Twenty-one U.S. diplomats in Cuba were affected last August by sonic attacks with an acoustic device, according to the State Department.

Global Affairs Canada is working to determine if any Canadian diplomats in southern China have been affected by a mysterious ailment that has already sickened a number of American diplomats and bears similarities to the unexplained illness suffered by Canadian and US government workers in Cuba. The Cuban government denied involvement in the attacks and the State Department sent more than 60 percent of Americans working at the US embassy there home.

Recall that from China sent several American diplomats and their family members to undergo medical examinations.

In 2017 in Cuba at least 22 American diplomat and their family members have suffered as a result of the mysterious "acoustic attack".

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