U.S. staffer in China suffers brain injury from odd sound

US Embassy in China

The U.S. State Department is warning U.S. citizens in China that a government employee reported unusual "sensations of sound and pressure" and was later diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury - a case that recalls a wave of so-called "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats in Cuba.

"The department is taking this incident very seriously and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incident", said Nauert. The Chinese government has assured the US that it is investigating the matter and taking appropriate measures, according to a State Department spokesperson.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the brain injury sustained by an American official in China was "very similar" to those that affected USA and Canadian diplomats in Cuba.

The U.S. official who experienced the "abnormal" sounds reported physical symptoms from late 2017 to April of this year, according to the State Department, and the employee was sent home for medical assessment.

In Cuba previous year, the U.S. said that 24 diplomats and their family members had fallen victim to an unsolved mysterious attack that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma.

The State Department went on to advise: "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".

Ex-CIA employee identified as suspect in 'Vault 7' leaks
Instead, Schulte was charged last August with three counts of receipt, possession and transportation of child pornography. Prosecutors, meanwhile, said in court last week that they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days.

The report comes as the U.S.is seeking to negotiate concessions from China to narrow its trade deficit.

The suspected "sonic attack" has been linked to "medically similar" episodes experienced by USA government staff in communist Cuba in late 2016. The employee was brought to the United States for medical evaluation and on May 18 the Embassy learned that the clinical findings of the evaluation showed mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

Suspected "sonic attacks" affecting more than a dozen USA diplomats and family members in Havana beginning in November 2016 led to the U.S.

USA diplomats there experienced possible "sonic attacks", and the US eventually reduced the number of American employees there.

China's Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission did not immediately respond to faxed questions about the report. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", the recommendation said.

In Cuba, the US victims had associated the onset of their symptoms with "unusual sounds or auditory sensations", a state department physician told the US Senate in January. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

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