US Embassy in China sends new alert for mystery health issue

Monday, 11 Jun, 2018

The FBI launched an investigation that lasted a year following attacks in Havana, but they were unable to determine what caused the phenomena.

The Cuba incidents sparked concerns that the employees had been targeted with some novel sort of sonic attack, and similar reports this week in Guangzhou, China, have prompted several evacuations of diplomats and family members.

More recently, United States diplomats in China also complained of symptoms similar to the ones suffered by colleagues in Cuba.

According to the Secretary of State, the government employee has "very similar" medical assessments "completely consistent" with those experienced by US diplomats while working in Havana, Cuba.

The two latest staff members from the Cuba embassy could be "potentially new cases" but are yet to be "medically confirmed", a US State Department official told the Associated Press news agency.

The State Department has so far confirmed that 24 people were affected by what officials have said are attacks on USA workers in Cuba. "Instead, move to a different location". It is also the only US diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

A security person walks outside the USA consulate building in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7. "The Ministry of Foreign Relations reiterates that no evidence of the alleged incidents has been presented, and maintains its unwavering commitment to cooperate with USA authorities".

The issue of the alleged health problems reported by diplomats in Cuba was the argument used by the government of Donald Trump to drastically reduce the personnel in the respective embassies in Havana and Washington, trying to derail the possibility of improvement in bilateral relations.

The incidents have raised concerns that a government or agency may be targeting the USA with a new type of sonic weapon.

Asked about the reported China incidents, Penn Medicine said it could not reveal results of any patient evaluations.

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.

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few kilometers (miles) from the consulate, said Thursday 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.