United States says diplomats in China hit by mystery illness

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A medical team was dispatched to investigate the incident, and on Wednesday State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number" of people connected to the consulate in Guangzhou have been evacuated to the US for further evaluation.

"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.

On May 23, the US State Department had said that one of the workers at its Consulate in Guangzhou had experienced a "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure".

Reacting to the reports of the mysterious sound attacks on the United States diplomats, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Thursday that Beijing had investigated the May 23 allegation and found no clue.

A department spokesperson said the agency was not specifying the exact number of people evacuated, saying it was due to medical privacy concerns.

"I think that if there is any problem, the United States can communicate with the Chinese side, and China will continue to adopt a responsible attitude and conduct a serious investigation", she said.

Cuba has denied targeting embassy staff, and the U.S. has not blamed the country's government for the suspected attacks.

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The U.S. government has deemed the Cuba incidents "specific attacks" on American workers but hasn't publicly identified a cause or culprit.

The American Foreign Service Association said then that government employees had been diagnosed with "mild traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss, with such additional symptoms as loss of balance, severe headaches, cognitive disruption, and brain swelling". Lenzi, his wife, who also reportedly complained of hearing weird noises in their apartment, and their two children departed for the USA on Wednesday evening.

The Associated Press reported that the evacuated staff from China are being sent to the University of Pennsylvania for testing, where doctors have tested former employees stationed in Havana. Following the incident, the US State Department issued a health alert.

Last year, 24 U.S. diplomats and their family members in Cuba fell victim to mysterious "attacks" that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma.

The cause of the odd sonic incidents, which have resulted in diagnosed mild traumatic brain injury in at least one of the cases from China, remains a mystery, even after months of FBI investigation into similar incidents experienced by two dozen US employees in Havana, which failed to uncover the perpetrators or reasons for the unusual, debilitating experiences.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a task force to respond to the "unexplained health incidents". "We will investigate the case and coordinate with the USA side in a consistently responsible way".

It serves four southern provinces with a combined population of more than 204 million and processes more than 1 million visa applications of all types annually. It is also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorised to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

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