United States warns employees after Chinese embassy worker shows brain injury

United States warns employees after Chinese embassy worker shows brain injury

The US official at the consulate in Guangzhou experienced a variety of "physical symptoms" between late 2017 and April this year.

Emily Rauhala, The Washington Post's China correspondent, reported that the State Department confirmed the U.S. worker's ailment was diagnosed as a mild traumatic brain injury, something USA officials in Cuba also experienced.

A USA government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, the State Department said Wednesday, recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba who later fell ill.

The department said it wasn't aware of any similar situations in China, either within the diplomatic community or among others.

The State Department went on to advise: "While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source".

The U.S. government in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States for what it said was Cuba's failure to protect staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana from mysterious health incidents at one point thought to possibly have been acoustic "attacks".

The United States previous year chose to withdraw a large number of embassy staff from Cuba after diplomats stationed there complained of symptoms such as hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches and fatigue.

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"We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana and now in China as well".

Emily Rauhala, the Washington Post's China correspondent reported that the State Department confirmed the embassy employee had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, which U.S. officials in Cuba also experienced.

The person experienced "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", a statement said. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", the alert advised.

An investigation to establish the cause and impact has been launched by the US State Department.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she added.

China's Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission did not immediately respond to faxed questions about the report. On May 18, the embassy learned that the diagnosis was mild traumatic brain injury.

Of the 21 medically confirmed United States victims, some have permanent hearing loss or concussions, while others suffered nausea, headaches and ear-ringing.

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