Sonic ATTACK warning issued as U.S. citizen suffers brain injury in China

US gov't worker reports

US warns its citizens in China after embassy worker suffers brain injury from possible 'sonic attack'

The State Department says a USA government employee working in China suffered "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure" that later led to a diagnosis of "mild traumatic brain injury".

The US State Department is looking into whether the report is similar to incidents in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, an American official told CNN, in which so-called "sonic attacks" on diplomats and family members led to a reduction in staffing there.

The State Department says it doesn't know what caused the reported symptoms in Guangzhou, and isn't aware of any other similar cases in China.

The employee reported, "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure". According to medical records first obtained by CBS News, a us doctor diagnosed the American diplomats as suffering from mild traumatic brain injury.

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The State Department said in its Wednesday statement that anyone who experienced "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena" while in China should move away from the source of the noise. "The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event".

The employee experienced "a variety of physical symptoms" from late a year ago to last month, Lee said, adding that the person was sent to the United States and diagnosed on Friday last week.

Emily Rauhala, The Washington Post's China correspondent, reported that the State Department confirmed the USA worker's ailment was diagnosed as a mild traumatic brain injury, something U.S. officials in Cuba also experienced. That evaluation found that the employee's symptoms were similar to those of someone with a head concussion or mild traumatic brain injury.

"Twenty-four people have had symptoms and findings consistent with what looks like a mild traumatic brain injury", State Department medical director Dr. Charles Rosenfarb told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee January 9 "The findings suggest that this is not an episode of mass hysteria".

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

In Cuba, the U.S. reported that some of its diplomatic personnel and family members experienced a range of ailments, some after hearing an unusual sound. Americans working in Cuba suffered permanent hearing loss, severe headaches, loss of balance, brain swelling, and disruption to cognitive functions.

The U.S. government in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States for what it said was Cuba's failure to protect staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana from mysterious health incidents at one point thought to possibly have been acoustic "attacks".

The cause of those incidents remains unresolved.

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