Monday, 17 December, 2018

U.S. issues new China health alert over mystery illness

U.S. issues new China health alert over mystery illness U.S. issues new China health alert over mystery illness
Patty Aguilar | 11 June, 2018, 00:56

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" had been brought to the US but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated.

Since the incident, other employees from the consulate and their families have been evacuated. United States officials have detailed how personnel in Cuba came to experience a variety of symptoms including sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, disorientation, attention issues and signs consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. It is also the only US diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

Those affected have suffered a range of symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, fatigue, cognitive issues and sleep loss.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, responded previous year by sharply drawing down U.S. Embassy staff in Havana and in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats.

Last year, 24 US government employees and family members in Cuba displayed the symptoms, which were similar to those related to concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, according to the State Department. There is a USA medical team in Guangzhou assessing whether more people need to leave China, the Associated Press reported. American investigators have not yet determined who or what is causing the symptoms and illnesses.

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The medical screenings in China are continuing, Nauert said.

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 personnel affected in Cuba showed they had sensory and memory problems similar to the brain dysfunction seen with concussions.

In 2017 in Cuba at least 22 American diplomat and their family members have suffered as a result of the mysterious "acoustic attack".

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, first charged diplomats were the victims of "sonic attacks" and Cuba as the host country was at a minimum responsible for their safety. The Guangzhou consulate opened months after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington in 1979 and moved to its new purpose-built facility in 2013. "But I don't feel that there's something to be very afraid of because it's probably a very special case", Chen said.

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