US evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

U.S. evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

U.S. evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

A US State Department official has confirmed with Sputnik that two individuals from the US Embassy in Cuba are undergoing medical evaluations and may possibly be new cases in a string of mysterious illnesses that have struck diplomats at the diplomatic facility.

The State Department had confirmed earlier that one USA employee assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had "suffered a medical incident", and that it had deployed a team to screen employees and family members there.

American officials sent a medical team to the southern city of Guangzhou last month after an employee attached to the consulate there was diagnosed with brain trauma after experiencing odd sounds. Unexplained sounds and vibrations that accompanied the symptoms initially led investigators to suspect a sonic weapon, although an interim Federal Bureau of Investigation report in January said no evidence had been uncovered that sound waves could have damaged the Americans' health, the AP reported.

The US is testing two staff members from its Cuban embassy in Havana amid concerns they may have been subjected to sonic attacks.

Doctors said in February that the symptoms among some 24 Havana embassy staffers were similar to those caused by concussions - headaches, balance problems, sleep disturbances and visual and hearing difficulties.

Washington has said in the past that Cuban authorities must take responsibility for the safety of United States diplomats on their soil, but the Havana government denies any knowledge of an attack.

U.S. evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens
Cuba 'sonic attack': US tests two more Havana embassy staff

They're not authorized to comment publicly on the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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

CBS News Radio's Steve Dorsey reported on Friday that diplomatic security officer Mark Lenzi is one the latest Americans to have been evacuated from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, southern China, He's back in the U.S. for treatment after he says he was injured, after hearing odd sounds.

The U.S.is working alongside China to uncover the source of the "abnormal sounds".

The development comes as the US issues travel warnings to Americans in China after unexplained health issues there raised fears that problems detected in Cuba in 2016 have spread.

Canada in April also ordered families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home after mysterious health symptoms were detected in 10 Canadians stationed on the island.

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