More US staffers evacuated from China over mystery illness

08 June, 2018, 06:45 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star

The department said on Wednesday that "a number of individuals" were sent to the United States for further evaluation following initial medical screenings.

The China incidents have raised fears the unexplained incidents that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded.

A Chinese government investigation has shed no light on why a USA diplomat fell ill at the consulate in Guangzhou after hearing mysterious sounds, an official said Thursday.

A US government official there reiterated that there had been only one confirmed case in China, announced last month, and the State Department was offering screening to anyone in the USA embassy or consulates in China who requested it.

"I think that if there is any problem, the USA can communicate with the Chinese side, and China will continue to adopt a responsible attitude and conduct a serious investigation", she said. The mysterious illness first affected American diplomats and their relatives in Cuba before its appearance in China back in May, The New York Times reported. They said their experiments managed to replicate the metallic chirping sounds that USA diplomats heard in conjunction with the attacks in Cuba, raising the likelihood that the injuries were the result of ultrasonic signals.

An employee first fell sick last month in China, and now another employee, his wife and their two children were evacuated after the adults showed signs of neurological symptoms.

However, given the similarities between the incidents in Havana and Guangzhou, there is the potential for additional cases of brain injuries being diagnosed, more serious travel advisories being issued leading to a fall in tourist arrivals, and the possible further withdrawal of diplomatic personnel from China.

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 personnel affected in Cuba showed they had sensory and memory problems similar to the brain dysfunction seen with concussions.

USA experts have said they know of no technology that would explain the symptoms. The Canadian government followed suit in April and directed the families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said the U.S. consular employee in Guangzhou suffered symptoms that were "very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications of the Americans working in Havana".

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.

She said China followed the Vienna convention to protect diplomatic staff of the United States and other countries. The Guangzhou consulate opened months after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington in 1979 and moved to its new purpose-built facility in 2013.


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