A medical mystery grows as United States consulate workers in China fall ill

A medical team was dispatched to investigate the incident, and on Wednesday State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number" of people connected to the consulate in Guangzhou have been evacuated to the US for further evaluation.

The State Department had deployed a medical team to screen other employees and family members at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou following this incident. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said "a number of individuals" have been brought to the US but didn't say how many were affected or evacuated.

The U.S. first pulled out all nonessential staff in Cuba in September, followed shortly after by the expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats from their U.S. post.

Cuba has denied targeting embassy staff, and the United States has not blamed the country's government for the suspected attacks.

Symptoms have included dizziness, headaches and an inability to concentrate.

Security guards outside the Guangzhou consulate checked reporter's IDs on Thursday and told them to leave the area and not attempt to talk to consulate staff.

"If there's really a problem then the USA side can directly contact the Chinese side and communicate, and China will continue to conscientiously investigate and coordinate with a responsible attitude", Hua said.

China said last month that it had found no explanation.

A US government official there reiterated that there had been only one confirmed case in China, announced last month, and the State Department was offering screening to anyone in the USA embassy or consulates in China who requested it. She confirmed doctors would work to determine if the symptoms showed consistencies with those reported in Cuba.

The Penn team said that the patients from Cuba experienced persistent disability, though rehabilitation therapy customised for them seemed to help. "We are working to figure out what took place both in Havana and now in China as well".

Aled Williams, a British teacher at a kindergarten said the reports sounded "sci-fi-ish".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Deputy Secretary John Sullivan had established a task force to "direct a multi-agency response to the unexplained health incidents that have affected a number of US government personnel and family members stationed overseas".

"For me I feel it's very odd".

The US Embassy in Cuba after the US government pulled more than half of its diplomatic personnel out of Cuba who suffered health problems due to an alleged sonic attack in 2017. The Guangzhou consulate opened months after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington in 1979 and moved to its new purpose-built facility in 2013.

"Relevant authorities of China have conducted investigations and given the feedback to the US".

  • Rogelio Becker