United States employee in China reported unusual sounds, pressure

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures as he testifies at a hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Was

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures as he testifies at a hearing of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Was

The US embassy in China issued a health alert Wednesday after a US government employee experienced an "abnormal" sound and suffered a mild brain injury - in an incident reminiscent of a mysterious illness that hit diplomats in Cuba.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana but we are investigating all possibilities", a USA embassy official in Beijing told AFP on the condition of anonymity. At least two Canadians were also affected.

Responding to these claims, the Cuban Foreign Ministry denied any Cuban involvement in the alleged attacks.

"We do not now know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community", the State Department warned in a health alert.

Emily Rauhala, the Washington Post's China correspondent reported that the State Department confirmed the embassy employee had been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, which USA officials in Cuba also experienced.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures", she added.

"While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source", the alert advised.

The diplomats said when they left rooms in the embassy, the symptoms and sounds immediately stopped. The mployee was sent back to the United States for assessment.

U.S. officials in Cuba, and their families, started describing unexplained health problems between November 2016 to August 2017. During the investigation, the Cuban authorities did not find any "acoustic" or other weapons, which could be potentially damaging to the health of the USA diplomatic staff, even among those who resided very close to the building of the United States diplomatic mission.

The US State Department expelled 17 Cuban diplomats from its Washington embassy a year ago after the incidents came to light.

The alert immediately raised comparisons with a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that led to the withdrawal of most USA personnel from the embassy in Havana.

Staff there reported symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, fatigue and cognitive issues, though Cuban officials dismissed the idea of acoustic strikes as "science fiction" and accused Washington of slander. It ordered half its diplomats on the island to leave and warned Americans against traveling to the Caribbean nation.

The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.

Recommended News

  • Venezuela's Maduro Wins Boycotted Elections Amid Charges Of Fraud

    Venezuela's Maduro Wins Boycotted Elections Amid Charges Of Fraud

    A Treasury Department release said he is "referred to as the second most powerful man in Venezuela - after Maduro". The fraud has been exposed and today the world will reject it", tweeted opposition leader Julio Borges.
    FDA Approves First Non-Opioid Treatment to Manage Withdrawal

    FDA Approves First Non-Opioid Treatment to Manage Withdrawal

    The drug, which has been used in the United Kingdom for more than two decades now, is made by Louisville, KY-based US WorldMeds . The fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms often prevents those suffering from opioid addiction from seeking help.
    Mariners' star Robinson Cano suspended 80 games for violating joint drug agreement

    Mariners' star Robinson Cano suspended 80 games for violating joint drug agreement

    Since making his Major League Baseball debut on May 3, 2005, he has appeared in 2,037 games, most of any player during that span. The GM went on to say that he "didn't feel comfortable" talking about the Cano situation because he's a member of the Mariners.
  • Primark set to overtake Marks and Spencer market share

    Primark set to overtake Marks and Spencer market share

    Shares in M&S have fallen 26% over the a year ago and the firm is in danger of being booted out of the FTSE 100 index. However, the M&S boss highlighted that these changes come with costs, which were reflected in Wednesday's results.
    US, China agree to cut massive American trade deficit

    US, China agree to cut massive American trade deficit

    Likewise, China's foreign ministry said details still have to be worked out. "It's China's plan to win the future". Yet it's far from clear that a fragile truce between the United States and China can hold.
    Mark Zuckerberg To Appear Before European Parliament

    Mark Zuckerberg To Appear Before European Parliament

    European Parliament president scolds justice commissioner for criticizing closed-door Facebook meeting. Zuckerberg's reportedly still refusing to appear before the U.K.
  • Curry leads Warriors' onslaught over Rockets for 2-1 lead

    Curry leads Warriors' onslaught over Rockets for 2-1 lead

    If Curry and Durant both play well, that might be too much for Houston to survive. "We weren't as aggressive as we needed to be. The two-time MVP scored 35 points while playing 34 minutes, with 18 of those points being the result of a ideal 3rd quarter.
    Moto 1s with dual rear camera launched in China

    Moto 1s with dual rear camera launched in China

    Unlike other competing smartphones, the fingerprint sensor embedded below the camera includes a P2i nano splash-proof coating. In terms of optics, the Moto 1S comes with 12 mega pixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 5 mega pixel camera.
    YouTube is launching a music streaming service next week

    YouTube is launching a music streaming service next week

    YouTube Premium is geared towards "cord cutters", as many now have streaming options aside from traditional cable TV. For the existing YouTube Red members, the current subscription price will continue for YouTube Premium .
  • Warriors looking forward after blowout Game 3 win vs. Rockets

    Warriors looking forward after blowout Game 3 win vs. Rockets

    Western Conference Finals scheduleGame 4 is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. "I think he's OK there", Kerr said, via SF Gate . While speaking to reporters on Monday, Durant needed just two words to offer his endorsement of Curry's in-game cursing.
    Commodities: Brent tops $80 per barrel for the first time since 2014

    Commodities: Brent tops $80 per barrel for the first time since 2014

    Chief Executive Officer of Total Patrick Pouyanne has predicted that the price of a barrel of crude will hit $100 later this year. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 64 cents at $72.13 a barrel, also their highest since November 2014.
    Senate Approves Overturning FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

    Senate Approves Overturning FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal

    I supported legislating when we had a Democratic FCC, and I support legislating now that it's in the other party's hands. In the short space of time since the ruling, many people in the U.S. have been doing their best to reverse the decision.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.