Mystery ailment leads USA to evacuate more workers from China


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"The State Department received medical confirmation that a us government employee in China suffered a medical incident consistent with what other USA government personnel experienced in Havana, Cuba", it said in an emailed statement.

Diplomatic security officer Mark Lenzi is one the latest Americans to have been evacuated from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, southern China.

A previous case in Guangzhou, disclosed last month, prompted the tests.

The cause of the unusual sonic incidents, which have resulted in diagnosed mild traumatic brain injury in at least one of the cases from China, remains a mystery, even after months of FBI investigation into similar incidents experienced by two dozen USA employees in Havana, which failed to uncover the perpetrators or reasons for the odd, debilitating experiences.

In addition to concussions and hearing loss, other symptoms associated with the mysterious auditory sensations are dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and difficulty sleeping. Instead, it said, they should move to a different location.

A USA official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, told The Associated Press that the evacuees from China were being tested at the University of Pennsylvania, where patients from Cuba were also treated and evaluated.

"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the US government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

Screening has also been offered to employees at the country's embassy in Beijing and other United States consulates on request.

"As for the latest incident, my understanding is that the USA side hasn't had any formal communication with the Chinese side about it", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday at a regular press briefing.

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The Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday that its investigation into the first case has not yielded any clues as to the cause of the incident.

The US is bringing back a group of diplomats from China for further medical evaluation over concerns they were suffering from a mysterious illness similar to those reported by its personnel in Cuba, an official said today.

The nationwide alert advises us personnel to contact a doctor if they experience unusual or unexplained physical symptoms.

The Penn team said the patients from Cuba experienced persistent disability though rehabilitation therapy customized for them seemed to help.

In April, Canada also ordered families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home after mysterious health symptoms were detected in 10 Canadians stationed there. Canada mentioned the 10 continued to point out unexplained mind signs and that "medical info raised considerations for a brand new sort of a attainable acquired mind harm".

The task force will continue to address the unexplained health incidents that have affected USA government personnel and their family members stationed overseas, Nauert said.

The China incidents affect one of the most important of the seven USA diplomatic outposts in the country.

The State Department, which reported the latest medical evacuations on Wednesday, has not accused any particular country or organisation of being behind the latest incidents.

It serves 4 southern provinces with a mixed inhabitants of greater than 204 million and processes greater than 1 million visa functions of all kinds yearly. It is also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday that the State Department was "trying to work through it" and it was "obviously" concerned "about the health and safety of its diplomats".