Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ prompt evacuation of 2 more USA staff from China

Mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ prompt evacuation of 2 more USA staff from China

A medical team was dispatched to investigate the incident, and on Wednesday State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number" of people connected to the consulate in Guangzhou have been evacuated to the USA for further evaluation.

Many other employees at the US Consulate in Guangzhou are being tested, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing officials, by a State Department medical team that has been flown in.

Two American diplomats stationed in Guangzhou, China were reportedly evacuated from the region when they fell ill after hearing mysterious noises - as the baffling sicknesses, which began in Cuba, continues to haunt U.S. embassies.

A preliminary report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation say it has uncovered no evidence sound waves are responsible in the so-called sonic attacks; Rich Edson has more for 'Special Report'.

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On Thursday, China's Foreign Ministry said invesstigators looked into the case after being told about the first incident.

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

A Chinese government investigation has shed no light on why a US diplomat fell ill at the consulate in Guangzhou after hearing mysterious sounds, an official said Thursday. Starting in 2016, US representatives in Cuba experienced hearing loss and and other cognitive problems usually associated with concussions and other trauma to the head.

The alert came after a United States government employee in Guangzhou recently experienced "vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure" and developed mild traumatic brain injury, the same condition USA officials developed in a serious of unusual events in Cuba. The people suffering from these symptoms have been treated by brain injury specialists at the University of Pennsylvania, who reported in the medical journal JAMA that they found cognitive, balance, and oculomotor abnormalities in most of the group from Cuba.

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Lenzi told the Times he resided in the same apartment tower as the officer evacuated in April and suffered in recent months from what he called "neurological symptoms".

The preliminary findings of the medical reports on the 24 individuals affected in Cuba indicated that they had sensory and memory problems similar to brain dysfunctions often associated with concussions.

In 2017, 24 United States diplomats and their family members in Cuba fell victim to mysterious "attacks" that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma. Most of the incidents were accompanied by freakish, unexplained sounds that initially led USA investigators to suspect a sonic attack.

Secretary Mike Pompeo appears to be trying to avoid the uproar caused past year after US lawmakers and the public found out about the medical incidents in Cuba more than six months after they started happening, by some counts. The issue resulted in United States expelling many Cuban diplomats. 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.

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In addition to the State Department's medical team, which arrived on May 31, specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also arrived in China this week to join in the investigation in Guangzhou. "This does not fit with China's basic concept and principles of diplomacy, and is inconceivable", the Global Times said in an editorial.

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