More Consulate Workers Evacuated After Mystery Illness Strikes Americans In China

Jun 08, 2018, 06:54
More Consulate Workers Evacuated After Mystery Illness Strikes Americans In China

A USA medical team was screening Americans who work in a southern Chinese city as the State Department confirmed evacuating a number of government workers who experienced unexplained health issues like those that have hurt U.S. personnel in Cuba. The embassy provided no details regarding the location of the incident, but included contacts of the US Consulate General in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The New York Times reported that the State Department had evacuated at least two Americans who fell ill after hearing odd noises in China. "As a result of the screening process so far, the department has sent a number of individuals for further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms and findings in the United States".

A USA official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, said the evacuated American government workers were being brought from China for testing to the University of Pennsylvania. Starting in 2016, USA representatives in Cuba experienced hearing loss and and other cognitive problems usually associated with concussions and other trauma to the head.

The evacuation of the USA diplomats with mysterious illness comes at a time when the relations between Beijing and Washington were going through a tense phase as the two countries grappled to avert a trade war.

Vehicles pass by high-rise apartment buildings in The Canton Place where United States government workers experienced unexplained health issues in Guangzhou, southern China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7, 2018.

China had earlier said it had looked into the first case but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms.

The upscale apartment complex in question is said to house USA government employees and other foreigners, as well as affluent Chinese dwellers.

Hua said Beijing learned about the latest cases through a report in The New York Times.

The department said it had sent a team to Guangzhou and set up a task force to oversee the response to the mystery attacks in China and Cuba.

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. The retelling of his and his wife's experience to the Times heavily resembles what the diplomats in Cuba reportedly suffered: headaches, odd physical symptoms, and occasional "unusual noises".

Cuba has denied targeting embassy staff, and the USA has not blamed the country's government for the suspected attacks.

Shortly after the first reports of such illnesses in Guanzhou, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress they "are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba".

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