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.
A health alert sent Wednesday said a U.S. government employee assigned to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.”
The notification said the department was not aware of any other cases inside or outside the diplomatic community.
But signaling the depth of their concern, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and all five U.S. consulates in the country held town hall meetings Wednesday so employees could ask questions and raise concerns. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the United States will send a medical team to Guangzhou next week to conduct baseline medical evaluations of all employees who desire one.
“The department is taking this incident very seriously and is working to determine the cause and impact of the incident,” said Nauert.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Emily Rauhala, Carol Morello