U.S. Expands China Health Alert Amid Mysterious Illness Reports

Adjust Comment Print

Earlier this week, a number of U.S. personnel in China have been sent back to Washington for further health screenings after concerns over reports of mysterious acoustic incidents similar to the Cuba "sonic attacks", CNN reported.

Cuba said in a statement released by its Foreign Ministry that US officials reported on May 29 that a female embassy official had reported experiencing "health symptoms" after hearing the sounds in her home two days earlier.

Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week announced that the U.S.in May established a Health Incidents Response Task Force to look into "unexplained health incidents" affecting Americans in Cuba and China.

More news: Regina man remembers father after Spade and Bourdain deaths

Nauert also said that remaining US government personnel and their families in Guangzhou would also be able to request testing if they "noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening".

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.

Of the roughly 170 American consulate staffers and family members in Guangzhou, about 150 sought the offered preliminary medical examinations, according to officials familiar with the process.

Cuba said it sent investigators to the home who found no potential source of a sound and were not granted access to the official.

More news: Unravel Two Revealed, Features New Co-op Mode, Is Out Now

"If the U.S. makes formal contact with us, China will continue necessary investigations in an earnest and responsible manner and maintain close communication and cooperation with the U.S.", Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

In April, Canada said it would remove families of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as information from medical specialists has raised concerns of a new type of brain injury.

Guangzhou is one of the most important of the US diplomatic outposts in the country.

The New York Times identified the latest American employee evacuated as Mark A. Lenzi, a security engineering officer at the consulate who left Wednesday night with his wife and two children.

More news: Actor Vince Vaughn arrested for DUI, resisting arrest

The statement said Cuba reaffirmed its desire to "cooperate with the United States authorities to clarify the situation".