Culture&Arts

U.S. warns citizens in China after consulate worker suffers 'abnormal' brain injury

U.S. warns citizens in China after consulate worker suffers 'abnormal' brain injury

Embassy spokeswoman Jinnie Lee said the employee reported the symptoms beginning late a year ago and they lasted through April.

A United States Government employee in southern China has reported suffering from "abnormal" sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said - recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba.

So far, this incident appears to be isolated, as there have not been any similar situations reported within the diplomatic community in China or among other American citizens in country, The Associated Press reported.

The embassy advised Americans experiencing "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises" not to attempt to locate the source of the sound but to move away from the location, and seek medical help.

Though the department has not linked this case to any other incident, news of unusual symptoms hitting USA government employees overseas will no doubt draw comparison to a rash of mysterious "sonic attacks" on US and Canadian diplomats stationed in Cuba.

The United States past year made a decision 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.

The employee was sent to the United States for evaluation on treatment.

An investigation to establish the cause and impact has been launched by the US State Department.

More news: Denmark's Torm says stops taking orders in Iran due to US Sanctions

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a USA embassy official told Reuters.

"A USA government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", the notice said.

The Department of State is on edge after a USA official in China was recently diagnosed with brain damage following reports of mysterious experiences and symptoms reminiscent of the alleged 2017 sonic attacks at the American embassy in Cuba.

At the time Rex Tillerson, the former US State Secretary of State, said the symptoms resulted from "targeted attacks" but he did not specify who may have been behind them.

The embassy spokesperson told CBS News that the Chinese government had "assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures".

The Chinese foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.

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.

The victims suffered headaches, hearing loss, disorientation and some loss of cognitive ability. Officials believe some type of sonic weapon may have been used.


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