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U.S. Government Employee In China Experiences ‘Sensations Of Sound And Pressure,’ Similar To ‘Sonic Attacks’ On Diplomats In Cuba

By  Frank Camp

On Wednesday, the State Department’s “travel” Twitter account uploaded a story followed by a warning for personnel in China:

​Event: A U.S. government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure. The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event. We do not currently 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.

Action to Take:

If you have concerns about any symptoms or medical problems that developed during or after a stay in China, consult a medical professional.

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. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present.

According to CNN:

The US Embassy in Beijing learned on May 18 that the clinical findings of the evaluation matched that of a “mild traumatic brain injury,” [says] an embassy spokeswoman…

Speaking before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said:

The medical indications are very similar, and entirely consistent with, the medical indications that were taking place to Americans working in Cuba. One incident – we announced it to the workforce while we slept here last night. We have medical teams that are moving to be on the ground there. We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana, and [now] in China as well. We’ve asked the Chinese for their assistance in doing that, and they have committed to honoring their commitments under the Vienna Convention to keep American foreign service officers safe.

In 2016 and 2017, U.S. diplomats in Havana, Cuba reported feeling as though they had been prey to “auditory and sensory phenomena in their homes or hotel room,” according to a study published in March 2018.

The 21 individuals who were evaluated in the study had allegedly developed “cognitive, vestibular, and oculomotor dysfunction, along with auditory symptoms, sleep abnormalities, and headache.” The study adds that the individuals “appeared to have sustained injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma.”

All told, CNN reports that “at least 24 diplomats and family members were affected” by the sickness.

Cuba denies involvement in the alleged attacks.

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