Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

More Americans screened over health issues in China

More Americans screened over health issues in China

Two weeks ago, the agency said one government employee in Guangzhou experienced "vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", similar to the unexplained incidents - sometimes described as "sonic attacks" - that recently sickened staffers in Cuba.

The message urges staff and family members to contact their health care provider if they experience "any unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns".

The complaints about the paucity of warnings echo similar objections made previous year when news first broke about the mysterious so-called sonic attacks US diplomats and their families experienced in Cuba.

The incidents have raised fears the unexplained issues that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded to other countries.

Friday's alert called for people to be attentive of symptoms including "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping".

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the State Department has evacuated at least two workers at the Guangzhou consulate, identifying one of them as Mark A. Lenzi, a security engineering officer.

"The medical screenings are ongoing for any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Wednesday, according to the Hill. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" had been brought to the US but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated.

In October, the U.S. State Department ordered non-essential embassy workers and their families to evacuate Havana out of concern the mysterious illness was the result of a targeted sonic attack.

China on Thursday said it has investigated the United States allegations of mysterious sound attacks on its diplomats in the city of Guangzhou and found "no clue" even as two more American diplomats were evacuated after complaining of similar phenomena.

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

The Embassy Beijing and five USA consulates in China, she said, held "townhall meetings" on May 23 "to allow employees to ask questions and raise concerns directly with senior leadership".

The US State Department on Friday issued an expanded health alert for all of China amid reports some US diplomats based in the country had experienced a mysterious malady that resembles a brain injury and has already affected USA personnel in Cuba.

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

The new Health Incidents Response Team, which was established by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan at Pompeo's request, will include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, Justice, Defense and Energy and other members of the foreign affairs community. 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. It is also the only US diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

"We are working to figure out what took place, both in Havana and now in China as well", he said.

"Exhausting to get my head round the way it works", he mentioned.

China's state-run Global Times tabloid called the situation at the consulate "very unusual".

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