United States employee suffers brain injury in China after 'abnormal sounds'

American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The State Department said an email

American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The State Department said an email

The State Department says a U.S. 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". Both the State Department and Chinese government are investigating the case, reports CNN; the employee began reporting symptoms late a year ago, and no other American personnel are known to have experienced anything similar.

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" - resulting in a warning to all U.S. citizens in the country.

The unnamed American citizen assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had reported a variety of "physical symptoms" dating from late 2017 to April this year, the USA embassy in Beijing said in an email. According to medical records first obtained by CBS News, a us doctor diagnosed the American diplomats as suffering from mild traumatic brain injury.

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana but we are investigating all possibilities", a U.S. embassy official in Beijing told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.

An investigation to establish the cause and impact has been launched by the US State Department.

In a separate notice, the State Department said it's not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside the diplomatic community.

That study found that 21 USA government employees in Havana experienced "persistent cognitive, vestibular, and oculomotor dysfunction, as well as sleep impairment and headaches, were observed. associated with reports of directional audible and/or sensory phenomena of unclear origin".

US gov't worker reports

"We can not at this time connect it with what happened in Havana, but we are investigating all possibilities", a United States embassy official said.

CNN has reached out to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs but has not yet received a response on this matter.

Pompeo said the USA was moving medical teams to the area to work on the case.

The victims had associated the onset of their symptoms with "unusual sounds or auditory sensations", a State Department physician told the US Senate in January. "Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present", the State Department advises.

They suffered headaches, hearing loss, disorientation and some loss of cognitive ability.

Charles Rosenfarb, a doctor and director of the State Department bureau of medical services, said the symptoms were mixed but consistent with brain trauma. Officials believe some type of sonic weapon may have been used. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

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