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16:41US Diplomat in China Reports 'Abnormal' Sound, Pressure Sensations

16:41US Diplomat in China Reports 'Abnormal' Sound, Pressure Sensations”

The US embassy in China yesterday issued a health alert after a US government employee experienced an "abnormal" sound and suffered a mild brain injury in an incident reminiscent of a mysterious illness that hit diplomats in Cuba.

The unusual trauma inflicted on the U.S. official there recalls a similar spate of reports from Cuba, where USA officials reported symptoms consistent with a "sonic attack" or exposure to harmful frequencies while overseas.

The spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Beijing told CNN the State Department was taking the incident "very seriously" and was working to determine the cause and impact of it.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she added. "We do not now know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China", the statement said.

"A USA government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", read the government's health alert published on the US embassy in China website Wednesday.

The health alert advised that US citizens in China should consult a medical professional if they experience any symptoms.

The State Department is investigating whether or not this could be a possible "sonic attack", similar to what took place in Cuba previous year and in 2016.

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The worker, who was sent to the United States for further evaluation, was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury on May 8. However, the noises were only reportedly heard by US citizens, and not Cuban staff.

In October, a State Department official said the USA had "received a handful of reports from US citizens who report they experienced similar symptoms following stays in Cuba".

The employee was sent to the United States for evaluation and treatment. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", the emailed alert said.

"The unique circumstances of these patients and the consistency of the clinical manifestations raised concern for a novel mechanism of a possible acquired brain injury from a directional exposure of undetermined etiology", a study about the victims in Cuba concluded.

The Chinese foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

Around November 2016, USA diplomats based in Cuba started to complain of odd ailments, including dizziness, nausea and hearing problems.



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