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China says it protects foreign diplomats after US Consulate incident

Sonic attack warning issued as US citizens fall ill in China | Daily Star

A US medical team has been screening more personnel and their family members who work in Guangzhou this week in order to determine who may have been affected.

The consulate is the largest by far in China, and is a major site for the issuing of visas for travel to the United States. The Americans in China were living in similar situations-high-rise apartment buildings occupied by other foreign workers and wealthy locals.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a task force to respond to the "unexplained health incidents".

"If there's really a problem then the US side can directly contact the Chinese side and communicate, and China will continue to conscientiously investigate and coordinate with a responsible attitude", Hua said.

A medical team was sent to the southern city of Guangzhou after an American employee who had experienced odd sounds was diagnosed with brain trauma last month, reviving fears that the U.S. rival has developed some kind of acoustic or microwave device.

The two Americans evacuated worked at the American Consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, the New York Times reported Wednesday, adding that their colleagues and relatives are also being tested by a State Department medical team.

The US has removed several more officials from China over fears they have contracted the same mysterious illness that affected staff in Cuba.

Last month the United States issued a health alert to its citizens in China after one of its consulate workers suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, similar to a string of mysterious medical problems among USA diplomats in Cuba a year ago.

The new cases broaden a medical mystery that began affecting American diplomats and their families in Cuba in 2016.

The illnesses in Guangzhou began when Mark Lenzi and his family started experiencing chronic headaches after he described hearing "marbles bouncing and hitting a floor then rolling on an incline with a static sound", the Washington Post reported.

Symptoms, sounds and sensations reportedly varied dramatically from person to person.

The medical mystery further strained relations with Cuba and resulted in the US expelling Cuban diplomats. 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.

It said it was taking the reports seriously, but did not yet know the cause, and warned staff to move to a safe place if they encountered any "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises".

But despite an investigation by the FBI that has lasted for more than a year, US officials have been unable to determine the cause of the injuries, much less who the perpetrators might be.