Friday, 19 October, 2018

U.S. says diplomats in China hit by mystery illness

U.S. says diplomats in China hit by mystery illness U.S. says diplomats in China hit by mystery illness
Charlie Simmons | 10 June, 2018, 08:23

Friday's alert urged Americans to seek medical help in the event they suffered any "unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns".

A US medical team is also on the ground in Guangzhou doing initial evaluations to see if more people need to be sent home, the Associated Press has reported.

The unexplained sound ailing dozens of diplomats in Cuba may be getting worse in China - and the State Department has launched a task force to find out why.

Mark Lenzi, a Foreign Service officer who was evacuated from Guangzhou this week along with his wife and 3-year-old son, described the noise as something like "marbles bouncing and hitting a floor, then rolling on an incline with a static sound".

The medics arrived on May 31 and soon after, the State Department evacuated at least two Americans showing signs of the baffling sickness, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Nauert additionally mentioned that remaining USA authorities personnel and their households in Guangzhou would additionally be capable of request testing in the event that they "famous regarding signs or wished baseline screening".

On Wednesday the U.S. government said that it had brought a group of people from that consulate back to the United States for further evaluation of their symptoms, and that it was offering screening to anyone at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing or other consulates in China who requested it. That's where doctors have been treating and studying patients evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

A United States official, who wasn't authorised to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, said that the evacuated American government workers were being brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where doctors have been treating and studying patients who had been evacuated from the USA embassy in Havana.

She stressed that medical professionals will continue to conduct full evaluations to determine the cause of the reported symptoms and whether the findings are consistent with those experienced by previous personnel or are possibly "completely unrelated".

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David Rank, the former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, said if there is an "implication or evidence that this was a state organized activity", it would have a "much bigger impact on our relations".

The U.S. State Department on Friday issued an expanded health alert for all of China amid reports some U.S. diplomats based in the country had experienced a mysterious malady that resembles a brain injury and has already affected U.S. personnel in 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 on the island.

Canada said that the 10 continued to show unexplained brain symptoms and that "medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury".

The U.S. first pulled out all nonessential staff in Cuba in September, followed shortly after by the expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats from their U.S. post.

The task force will continue to address the unexplained health incidents that have affected United States government personnel and their family members stationed overseas, Nauert said.

Aled Williams, a British teacher at a kindergarten said Thursday that the reports sounded "sci-fi-ish".

"Exhausting to get my head round the way it works", he mentioned. "But I don't feel that there's something to be very afraid of because it's probably a very special case", Chen said.

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