US Warns Citizens in China After 'Abnormal' Sound Injures Worker

GETTY  CHINA EMBASSY    
   SONIC ATTACK A US citizen working in China has suffered a minor brain minor

In an emailed notice to American citizens in China, the department said it was not now known what caused the symptoms in the city of Guangzhou, where an American consulate is located.

A United States Government employee in southern China has reported suffering from "abnormal" sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the USA embassy said - recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba. "The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures".

United States officials have issued a health alert in China following the incident. The report comes after multiple US and Canadian nationals suffered from what the USA government called "health attacks" in Cuba. The embassy learned of her brain injury last week and issued a health alert to United States citizens in China on Wednesday.

The U.S. operates a consulate in Guangzhou, a sprawling commercial city and port in southern China.

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.

"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 department said.

China's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CHINA EMBASSY    
     MEDICALLY SIMILAR The incident been compared to a suspected'sonic attack in Cuba
CHINA EMBASSY MEDICALLY SIMILAR The incident been compared to a suspected'sonic attack in Cuba

An investigation to establish the cause and impact has been launched by the US State Department.

Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, the State Department's medical director, told a Senate subcommittee in January that the employees "associated the onset of these symptoms to their exposures with unusual sounds or auditory sensations".

Charles Rosenfarb, a doctor and director of the State Department bureau of medical services, said the symptoms were mixed but consistent with brain trauma.

The US was never able to prove if "sonic weapons" were used to target officials in Cuba. "Various descriptions were given: "a high-pitched beam of sound"; an "incapacitating sound"; a "baffling sensation" akin to driving with the windows partially open in a vehicle; or just an intense pressure in one ear".

The alert from the US consulate in Guangzhou also told US Citizens: "While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source".

While the USA has accused China of engaging in unsafe attacks on American personnel, including using lasers to harass and blind American pilots operating off the coast of Africa, there is now no evidence that China is involved in the incident, which has not yet been identified as an attack.

The diplomats described concussion-like symptoms like hearing loss, dizziness, balance problems, visual complaints, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.

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