USA expands China health alert amid illness reports

U.S. evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

A previous statement in May only mentioned the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou as the location for the health alert, though it was sent to USA citizens throughout the country.

Twenty-one USA diplomats in Cuba were affected last August by sonic attacks with an acoustic device, according to the State Department. It urged them "not to attempt to locate the source of any unidentified auditory sensation".

Guangzhou is one of the most important of the US diplomatic outposts in the country. Two other officials said the individuals have been brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors have been evaluating, treating and studying Americans affected in Cuba past year as well as nearly 10 new possible cases from a US consulate in China.

Cuba said it remained ready to work with the United States to determine what, if anything, was causing the illnesses after its own investigation had uncovered no evidence of foul play.

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.

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few kilometers (miles) from the consulate, said they were just hearing about the incidents, reflecting a lack of coverage in China's entirely state-controlled media.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on June 7 that as far as she was aware there had not been any formal communication between the two countries on any new cases.

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A security person walks outside the US consulate building in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7.

The Penn team said the patients from Cuba experienced persistent disability though rehabilitation therapy customized for them seemed to help.

The United States has pulled out two more of its workers from its embassy in Cuba and is testing them for possible brain injury, three US officials told The Associated Press on Friday, amid concerns they may have been affected by mysterious health incidents harming USA diplomats in Cuba and China.

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

In April, Canada said it would remove families of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as information from medical specialists has raised concerns of a new type of brain injury.

The symptoms are similar to those exhibited by US personnel in Cuba after they heard odd noises in an apparent sonic attack.

Aled Williams, a British teacher at a kindergarten said Thursday that the reports sounded "sci-fi-ish". "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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