American Sent Home From China After 'Abnormal Sensations'

American Sent Home From China After 'Abnormal Sensations'

A United States Government employee in southern China has reported suffering from "abnormal" sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said - recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that "the medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent" with the symptoms reported by Americans working at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

"The US government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event", the State Department warned in a health alert.

The cause of the injuries is now unknown, and no other employees have experienced similar symptoms at this time.

The U.S. government on Wednesday issued a health alert to Americans in China, warning them about the incident it described as "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure".

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

In the alert, the State Department tells Americans visiting China to be aware of the potential for "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises". That evaluation found that the employee's symptoms were similar to those of someone with a head concussion or mild traumatic brain injury. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present".

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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.

"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 on the condition of anonymity.

Around November 2016, USA diplomats based in Cuba started to complain of odd ailments, including dizziness, nausea and hearing problems.

Though some experts expressed doubt when the possibility of a sonic attack in Cuba was first raised, the State Department points to a study by independent medical personnel published earlier this year in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

CNN has reached out to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs but has not yet received a response on this matter.

In the Cuba incident previous year, 21 people fell sick with injuries including hearing loss, cognitive issues and sleep difficulties in what the State Department called an "attack".

The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.

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