United States embassy staff in China alerted to possible sonic attacks

US gov't worker reports

US gov't worker reports "abnormal" sound, pressure in China

A USA government employee experienced mysterious symptoms after working at a US consulate in China, in a case that's being likened to the so-called "sonic attacks" in Cuba a year ago.

It advised anyone who experiences "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises" to not seek out the source, but instead to move to a location where they are not present. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States will send a medical team to Guangzhou next week to conduct baseline medical evaluations of all employees who desire one.

After first reporting symptoms in late 2017, the employee was sent back to the U.S.in May of 2018. "The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)", the US embassy in Beijing said in an email, according to a Reuters report.

The odd incident recalls a similar spate of reports from Cuba, where USA officials reported symptoms consistent with a "sonic attack", or exposure to harmful frequencies.

The State Department was taking the incident very seriously and working to determine the cause and impact, the embassy said.

The U.S. government has about 2,000 employees posted to China. The person was sent to the USA and diagnosed with MTBI on May 18.

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

In an alert emailed to US citizens in China, the Embassy said it does not know what caused the symptoms or of any similar situations in the country.

Though Cuban officials dismissed the idea of acoustic strikes as "science fiction" and accused Washington of slander. Both the State Department and Chinese government are investigating the case, reports CNN; the employee began reporting symptoms late previous year, and no other American personnel are known to have experienced anything similar.

"Twenty-four people have had symptoms and findings consistent with what looks like a mild traumatic brain injury", State Department medical director Dr. Charles Rosenfarb told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee January 9 "The findings suggest that this is not an episode of mass hysteria".

China's Foreign Ministry are investigating the incident in Guangzhou but is yet to comment. According to medical records first obtained by CBS News, a us doctor diagnosed the American diplomats as suffering from mild traumatic brain injury.

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