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US State Department on Alert After Possible 'Sonic Attack' in China

US State Department on Alert After Possible 'Sonic Attack' in China

US State Department on Alert After Possible 'Sonic Attack' in China

The U.S. government issued a warning to all of its citizens in China today, after an embassy staffer reportedly suffered a mild traumatic brain injury resulting from "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure".

According to the alert issued by the US State Department on Wednesday, the cause of the injuries to the employee in China remains unknown, but officials were not aware of other similar symptoms among the diplomatic community in the country.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that medical teams were en route to Guangzhou to investigate after an alleged sonic attack similar to those reported in Cuba.

The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation. USA officials made no reference to Cuba, where similar reports have been made in relation to two dozen Americans, reports CBS News. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", it said, urging people with medical problems to consult a doctor.

The health alert advised that US citizens in China should consult a medical professional if they experience any symptoms.

A spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing confirmed to CBS News that from late 2017 through April 2018, a U.S. government employee assigned to the Guangzhou Consulate reported "a variety of physical symptoms".

The U.S. government has about 2,000 employees posted to China.

US gov't worker reports
US warns staff in China: Beware of unusual sounds

Charles Rosenfarb, a doctor and director of the department's Bureau of Medical Services, said the symptoms were mixed, but consistent with brain trauma.

"The department is taking this incident very seriously and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incident", said Nauert.

China's Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission did not immediately respond to faxed questions about the report.

In Cuba, the US victims had associated the onset of their symptoms with "unusual sounds or auditory sensations", a state department physician told the US Senate in January.

The U.S. government in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States for what it said was Cuba's failure to protect staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana from mysterious health incidents at one point thought to possibly have been acoustic "attacks".

The United States past year chose to withdraw a large number of embassy staff from Cuba after diplomats stationed there complained of symptoms such as hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches and fatigue.

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