US Embassy warns citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound injures consulate worker

US Embassy warns citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound injures consulate worker

The State Department has urged USA citizens in China to report any "symptoms or medical problems" they notice while in the country to a medical professional after a government employee experienced "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure".

The US State Department is looking into whether the report is similar to incidents in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, an American official told CNN, in which so-called "sonic attacks" on diplomats and family members led to a reduction in staffing there.

"The department is taking this incident very seriously and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incident", said a United States embassy spokeswoman, Jinnie Lee.

The Post reports that Chinese and USA officials are looking into the matter.

The cause of the injuries is now unknown, and no other employees have experienced similar symptoms at this time.

"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.

Last October, the State Department ordered non-essential embassy personnel and the families of all staff to leave Havana, arguing the USA could not protect them from unexplained illnesses that have harmed at least 24 Americans.

The State Department said in its Wednesday statement that anyone who experienced "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena" while in China should move away from the source of the noise.

The report comes as the U.S.is seeking to negotiate concessions from China to narrow its trade deficit.

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The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation.

USA diplomats there experienced possible "sonic attacks", and the US eventually reduced the number of American employees there.

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

"The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)", the embassy said.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a U.S. Embassy official said.

China's Foreign Ministry are investigating the incident in Guangzhou but is yet to comment.

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

It added that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers that the "sonic attack" in China was "medically similar" to the incidents in Cuba.

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