US Embassy in China sends new alert for mystery health issue

Health alert issued for Americans in China following fears of sonic attacks

The United States has evacuated some Americans from its consulate in Guangzhou, China, after a U.S. employee was confirmed to be suffering symptoms consistent with the mysterious illness that led to the removal of more than half of the U.S. Embassy staff in Cuba, the State Department said Wednesday.

The State Department has so far confirmed that 24 people were affected by what officials have said are attacks on US workers in Cuba.

According to a source in the state Department, both are considered to be "probably new", but has not yet been "confirmed from a medical point of view".

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Friday sent an alert, its second in two weeks, to Americans living or travelling in China, and urged them to seek medical help in the event they suffered any "unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns".

The Penn team, which published its Cuba findings February in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was not able to prove what caused the symptoms in those patients.

Friday's alert called for people to be attentive of symptoms including "dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping".

The US is testing two staff members from its Cuban embassy in Havana amid concerns they may have been subjected to sonic attacks.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, first charged diplomats were the victims of "sonic attacks" and Cuba as the host country was at a minimum responsible for their safety.

People working in The Canton Place complex, a few kilometers (miles) from the consulate, said they were just hearing about the incidents, reflecting a lack of coverage in China's entirely state-controlled media.

Cuba has denied targeting embassy staff, and the USA has not blamed the country's government for the suspected attacks. "The Ministry of Foreign Relations reiterates that no evidence of the alleged incidents has been presented, and maintains its unwavering commitment to cooperate with US authorities".

It serves four southern provinces with a combined population of more than 204 million and processes more than 1 million visa applications of all types annually. It is also the only USA diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

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