A medical mystery grows as U.S. consulate workers in China fall ill

Mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ prompt evacuation of 2 more US staff from China – report

On Wednesday, the State Department said it was evacuating several more Americans from Guangzhou for further health screenings.

Starting in late 2017 through April this year, an American diplomat in China had symptoms similar to those experienced by officials in Cuba, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month.

The U.S. State Department has sent "a number of individuals" from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China back to the U.S. after screenings showed they may have been affected by mysterious health problems similar to what diplomats experienced in Cuba.

Pompeo said on Tuesday that the U.S. had set up a taskforce to oversee the response to the mystery ailments among diplomats in both countries.

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The US said its officials were the victims of "specific attacks", but has not yet blamed anyone for being responsible.

Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month that the symptoms being reported in China were "entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba".

US experts have said they know of no technology that would explain the symptoms. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" have been brought to the US but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated.

According to The New York Times, American officials are now raising suspicions as to whether other countries, such as China or Russian Federation, may be behind the mysterious ailments.

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The State Department responded by pulling 60 percent of its workers out of the Havana embassy in early October and expelled two-thirds of Cuba's staff in Washington. An American medical team has flown in to Southern China to check the diplomats and their families.

One US official was diagnosed with mild brain trauma, the same injury that affected the Cuban embassy staff. The report said officials are expecting more United States personnel to be evacuated.

There are roughly 170 American diplomats or employees in Guangzhou, as well as their family members, and a senior U.S. official said a sizeable number had undergone or would soon undergo testing by the State Department doctors.

The State Department has said it suspects the stricken diplomats in Cuba were purposely targeted for an attack. They said their experiments managed to replicate the metallic chirping sounds that USA diplomats heard in conjunction with the attacks in Cuba, raising the likelihood that the injuries were the result of ultrasonic signals.

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But despite an investigation by the FBI that has lasted for more than a year, USA officials have been unable to determine the cause of the injuries, much less who the perpetrators might be.

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