Published: Wed, May 23, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

US employee in China reports 'abnormal' sound sensations

US employee in China reports 'abnormal' sound sensations

The State Department issued a health alert for US citizens in China on Wednesday after one employee had reported "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure" and was diagnosed with a mild brain injury.

The unusual trauma inflicted on the U.S. official there recalls a similar spate of reports from Cuba, where USA officials reported symptoms consistent with a "sonic attack" or exposure to harmful frequencies while overseas.

"The [US] Department [of State] is taking this incident very seriously and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incident", Lee said.

"The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event".

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"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 U.S. diplomatic statement said.

The U.S. official who experienced the "abnormal" sounds reported physical symptoms from late 2017 to April of this year, according to the State Department, and the employee was sent home for medical assessment.

In 2016 USA embassy staff in Cuba said they had suffered dizziness, nausea and hearing problems.

The report comes as the U.S.is seeking to negotiate concessions from China to narrow its trade deficit.

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According to the Washington Post, The American Foreign Service Association said the unwell USA citizens were diagnosed with "mild traumatic brain injury and permanent hearing loss, with such additional symptoms as loss of balance, severe headaches, cognitive disruption, and brain swelling".

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a United States embassy official said. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", it says, urging people with medical problems to consult a doctor.

"The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday.

"The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)", the embassy said.

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China's Foreign Ministry are investigating the incident in Guangzhou but is yet to comment.

The victims reported headaches, hearing loss, disorientation and some loss of cognitive ability.

The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.

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