United States reports brain injury after 'sound' incident in China

The symptoms were reported in the city of Guangzhou where an American consulate is located

The State Department says a USA government employee working in China suffered "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure" that later led to a diagnosis of "mild traumatic brain injury" - resulting in a warning to all U.S. citizens in the country.

The U.S. government issued a warning to all of its citizens in China today, after an embassy staffer reportedly suffered a mild traumatic brain injury resulting from "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure". "We do not now know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community".

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she added. The state department said 20 employees were affected and blamed Cuba. U.S. officials made no reference to Cuba, where similar reports have been made in relation to two dozen Americans, reports CBS News. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", the emailed alert said.

In Cuba past year, the USA said that 24 diplomats and their family members had fallen victim to an unsolved mysterious attack that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma.

The U.S. government has about 2,000 employees posted to China. Jinnie Lee, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, said that from late 2017 to April 2018, a government employee assigned to Guangzhou reported a variety of physical symptoms.

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

Security workers at the construction site of the US consulate compound in Guangzhou in 2009
Security workers at the construction site of the US consulate compound in Guangzhou in 2009

Although details on the Guangzhou employee's condition is unclear, Jinnie Lee, a USA embassy spokeswoman in Beijing confirmed that the staffer had experienced a number of physical health symptoms over the past year, reported the Washington Post.

Suspected "sonic attacks" affecting more than a dozen USA diplomats and family members in Havana beginning in November 2016 led to the U.S.

Past year in Cuba, the United States reported that some of its personnel and family members experienced a range of ailments, some after hearing an unusual sound.

Cuban officials dismissed the idea of acoustic strikes as "science fiction" and accused Washington of slander.

"The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday.

Responding to these claims, the Cuban Foreign Ministry denied any Cuban involvement in the alleged attacks.




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