State Dept: US Diplomats in Cuba Getting Medical Exams Following Sonic Attack

U.S. officials have detailed how personnel in Cuba came to experience a variety of symptoms including sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, disorientation, attention issues and signs consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.

The State Department said on Friday the cases were similar to those of 24 diplomats and family members taken ill through 2017, leading to a drawdown of personnel in Havana to a skeleton staff and the expulsion of 17 Cuban diplomats from Washington.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Friday sent an alert, its second in two weeks, to Americans living or travelling in China, and urged them to seek medical help in the event they suffered any "unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns".

"If the U.S. makes formal contact with us, China will continue necessary investigations in an earnest and responsible manner and maintain close communication and cooperation with the U.S.", Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference. American investigators have not yet determined who or what is causing the symptoms and illnesses.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, responded a year ago by sharply drawing down U.S. Embassy staff in Havana and in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats. It called for people to be attentive of symptoms including "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping".

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

Asked about the reported China incidents, Penn Medicine said it could not reveal results of any patient evaluations. "The Ministry of Foreign Relations reiterates that no evidence of the alleged incidents has been presented, and maintains its unwavering commitment to cooperate with USA authorities".

Recall that from China sent several American diplomats and their family members to undergo medical examinations. Most of the incidents were accompanied by weird, unexplained sounds that initially led US investigators to suspect a sonic attack.

Guangzhou is one of the most important of the US diplomatic outposts in the country.


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