USA issues new China health alert over mystery illness

USA issues new China health alert over mystery illness

Unexplained sounds and vibrations that accompanied the symptoms initially led investigators to suspect a sonic weapon, although an interim Federal Bureau of Investigation report in January said no evidence had been uncovered that sound waves could have damaged the Americans' health, the AP reported.

A US medical team was screening more Americans who work at the consulate in southern China as the State Department confirmed evacuating a number of government employees who experienced unexplained health issues like those that have hurt USA personnel in Cuba and China. The AP reported that out of the approximately 170 American staffers in the consulate, 150 have undergone the examinations.

Two officials told the Associated Press the individuals have been brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors have been evaluating, treating and studying Americans affected in Cuba past year as well as nearly 10 new possible cases from a USA consulate in China.

"The Ministry of Foreign Relations reiterates that no evidence of the alleged incidents has been presented, and maintains its unwavering commitment to cooperate with US authorities", Cuba's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Cuba said in a statement released by its Foreign Ministry that USA 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.

A security person walks outside the USA consulate building in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7.

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The Penn team said the patients from Cuba experienced persistent disability though rehabilitation therapy customized for them seemed to help.

The evacuation occured a few weeks after the State Department disclosed on May 23 that a US government employee stationed in Guangzhou reported experiencing "vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure, "NPR reported".

In April, Canada, whose personnel were also stricken, 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. There are about 170 USA diplomats or employees and their families in Guangzhou.

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

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few kilometers (miles) from the consulate, said they were just hearing about the incidents, reflecting a lack of coverage in China's entirely state-controlled media.

Linda Chen, who runs a coffee shop in the area, said she was mystified as to why only certain people seemed to have been affected in an area known for its comfort and safety.

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