United States warns employees after Chinese embassy worker shows brain injury


The department's statement comes as Washington has issued a health warning to American citizens in China after the US diplomatic employee in China reported "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", according to the press service of the US Embassy in China.

The unusual incident recalls a similar spat of reports from Cuba, where USA officials reported symptoms consistent with a "sonic attack", or exposure to harmful frequencies, while overseas.

The spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Beijing told CNN the State Department was taking the incident "very seriously" and was working to determine the cause and impact of it.

The American, who has not been named, fell ill while working for the USA government in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The embassy said it was not aware of any similar symptoms elsewhere in China, within or outside of the diplomatic community.

A health alert sent Wednesday said a US government employee assigned to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou reported "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure".

The US state department has urged its staff in China to alert them to any abnormal hearing or vision issues after one employee reported mystery symptoms.

Previous year in Cuba, the United States reported that some of its personnel and family members experienced a range of ailments, some after hearing an unusual sound.

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The US has disclosed that 24 diplomats and their relatives had fallen victim to an unsolved mysterious attack in Cuba that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a U.S. embassy official told Reuters. The person was sent to the United States and diagnosed with MTBI on May 18.

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

The U.S. citizen had reported a variety of physical symptoms dating from late 2017 to April this year.

Though the State Department has not linked this case to any other incident, news of unusual symptoms hitting US government employees overseas will no doubt draw comparison to a rash of incidents with USA and Canadian diplomats working in Cuba. Americans working in Cuba suffered permanent hearing loss, severe headaches, loss of balance, brain swelling, and disruption to cognitive functions.

The US previously said its diplomats in Cuba had suffered similar symptoms after suspected sonic attacks.

The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.

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