U.S. embassy issues new alert over mystery illness

U.S. embassy issues new alert over mystery illness

The Americans who were evacuated worked at the US Consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, and their colleagues and family members are being tested by a State Department medical team, officials said.

USA doctors later diagnosed that first employee, who the State Department evacuated from the Guangzhou-based consulate in April, with brain trauma.

The US state department said several government employees working in Guangzhou had been sent back to the US to be evaluated. One case in Guangzhou had been disclosed last month.

Ms Nauert also said that remaining United States government personnel and their families in Guangzhou would also be able to request testing if they "noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening".

The incidents have raised fears the unexplained issues that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded.

"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the US government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

Symptoms have included dizziness, headaches and an inability to concentrate.

The State Department had confirmed earlier that one USA employee assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had "suffered a medical incident", and that it had deployed a team to screen employees and family members there.

In the alert, the State Department compared the employee's injuries to those suffered by USA personnel and their families in Cuba between 2016 and 2017.

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The U.S. requested Chinese assistance in its investigation, but on Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said China had conducted a thorough investigation of its own, and found nothing.

An employee first fell sick last month in China, and now another employee, his wife and their two children were evacuated after the adults showed signs of neurological symptoms.

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

It also said people found it hard to believe that another foreign country could carry out such an attack in China, escape China's monitoring, and leave no trace.

A health alert has been issued by the United States embassy in Guangzhou, warning Americans living or working in China to take action if "unusual sounds or piercing noises" are heard. That's where doctors have been treating and studying patients previously evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Since that case was made public last month, an undisclosed number of other consulate staff and family members have also been evacuated for further tests.

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, in southern China, officially opened in 1979 and moved to its current location in 2013. "China will ensure the safety of foreign diplomatic staff in China, including those from the USA", she said.

"This is very odd", it added. "But I don't feel that there's something to be very afraid of because it's probably a very special case", Chen said. "This does not fit with China's basic concept and principles of diplomacy, and is inconceivable", the Global Times said in an editorial.

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