An undisclosed number of American diplomats in China have been evacuated to the U.S. after suffering injuries from a mysterious “sonic” attack similar to the attacks that plagued Americans in communist Cuba. The victims reported hearing strange sounds before falling ill with excruciating headaches and sleeplessness. Last month, one American in the U.S. consulate was diagnosed with brain damage after he was evacuated from China after suffering a similar attack.
Mystery illness striking diplomats in China afflicts more victims
The State Department is evacuating several Americans from China amid health concerns about mysterious symptoms arising after unusual noises detected by U.S. diplomats and their families working in the consulate in Guangzhou.
After initial screenings by a medical team dispatched last month when the first incident was reported, the State Department has sent “a number” of affected people to the United States for further evaluation, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
The evacuation was the first sign that the unexplained ailments previously known to have afflicted only one U.S. government employee in China have now broadened and threaten to become a full-blown health crisis like the one that affected at least 24 U.S. diplomats and their families in Cuba.
Though no names were released, a Foreign Service officer, Mark Lenzi, told The Washington Post he would be evacuated along with his wife and 3-year-old son.
Lenzi said he began hearing unusual sounds in April 2017, comparing them to rolling marbles with static. He said he started experiencing excruciating, painful headaches a few months later, as did his wife and son.
Lenzi also said the employee evacuated last month was his next-door neighbor, a fellow Foreign Service officer who was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury.
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