US State Department on Alert After Possible 'Sonic Attack' in China

US gov't worker reports

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.

The symptoms described recall those of U.S. embassy workers in Cuba, believed to be the target of invisible attacks, though the USA embassy in Beijing did not link the case to that in Havana.

The US State Department has said that at least 24 individuals working at the US Embassy in Havana experienced health effects caused by these purported attacks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that medical teams were en route to Guangzhou to investigate after an alleged sonic attack similar to those reported in Cuba.

"The US government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event", the statement added about the symptoms, which occurred from late previous year to April.

The person experienced "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure", a statement said.

The health alert advised that US citizens in China should consult a medical professional if they experience any symptoms.

A US Diplomatic official told CNN the State Department "is looking into whether this is a sonic attack, similar to what happened in Cuba".

CNN reported that the the U.S. Embassy Beijing learned May 18 that the initial findings of the employee's assessment matched that of "a mild traumatic brain injury", according to an embassy spokeswoman. "The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event".

The employee was sent to the United States for evaluation and treatment.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana but we are investigating all possibilities", a U.S. embassy official in Beijing told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", it says, urging people with medical problems to consult a doctor.

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

The Chinese foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. Previous victims of similar attacks in Cuba suffered permanent hearing loss, severe headaches, loss of balance, brain swelling, and disruption to cognitive functions. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

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