USA evacuates American diplomats from China amid concerns over mystery illness

Mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ prompt evacuation of 2 more US staff from China – report

Chinese officials earlier said that they had looked into last month's case but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms.

"China and relevant authorities conducted an investigation and gave feedback to the United States", spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news conference. "We haven't found the cause or the clues that led to the situation mentioned by the U.S.", she said.

Asked about the latest incidents, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States had not formally raised the matter with Beijing.

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

Last August, 21 diplomats working at the U.S. embassy in Cuba were affected by an incident involving an audio device, according to the State Department.

A group of US diplomats stationed in China have been brought back to the states after being inflicted by a mystery illness that reportedly resembles the brain injuries previously suffered by staff in Cuba.

The American government worker who previously was removed from China reported "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", the Guangzhou consulate reported last month.

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

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Officials said the safety of American personnel and their families was their "top priority".

The employee's physical symptoms and illness were strangely akin to those reported by 24 American and 10 Canadian diplomats in Cuba during 2016 and 2017.

After confirming one government employee had "suffered a medical incident" in the southern Chinese city, the department deployed a team to screen employees and family members at its consulate there, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Wednesday.

The illnesses in Guangzhou began when Mark Lenzi and his family started experiencing chronic headaches after he described hearing "marbles bouncing and hitting a floor then rolling on an incline with a static sound", the Washington Post reported.

Lenzi also said the employee evacuated last month was his next-door neighbor, a fellow Foreign Service officer who was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury. In response, it downsized the US diplomatic staff in Havana and prohibited families from joining the diplomats who stayed.

As a result of these unusual occurrences, the USA and Canada have both pulled diplomats out of Cuba. Investigators still haven't determined the source.

Other researchers subsequently criticized the methods used in the study, saying that the neuropsychological evidence that the article presented was flimsy.

The U.S. chose to withdraw a large number of its diplomats stationed in Havana after 24 government employees and family members complained of hearing loss, tinnitus, headaches, dizziness, visual difficulties and fatigue.

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