U.S. Screens More Staff in China Over Mystery Health Issues

USA consulate on September 4, 2014 in Guangzhou, China.  (iStock)

A U.S. medical team was screening more Americans who work at the consulate in southern China as the State Department confirmed evacuating a number of government employees who experienced unexplained health issues like those that have hurt U.S. personnel in Cuba and China.

The evacuations of workers in Guangzhou followed medical testing that revealed they might have been affected. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said “a number of individuals” had been brought to the U.S. but didn’t say how many were affected or evacuated. A previous case in Guangzhou, disclosed last month, prompted the tests.

Nauert also said that remaining U.S. government personnel and their families in Guangzhou would also be able to request testing if they “noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening.”

The incidents have raised fears the unexplained issues that started in Cuba in 2016 have expanded. The U.S. government has deemed those incidents “specific attacks” on American workers but hasn’t publicly identified a cause or culprit. Most of the incidents were accompanied by bizarre, unexplained sounds that initially led U.S. investigators to suspect a sonic attack.

Symptoms have included dizziness, headaches and an inability to concentrate. The American government worker who previously was removed from China reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” the Guangzhou consulate reported last month

Sponsored

Security guards outside the Guangzhou consulate on Thursday told reporters to leave the area and not attempt to talk to consulate staff.

Asked about the latest incidents, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the U.S. had not formally raised the matter with Beijing.

“If the U.S. makes formal contact with us, China will continue necessary investigations in an earnest and responsible manner and maintain close communication and cooperation with the U.S.,” Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference.

China earlier said it had looked into the case announced last month but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms.

The New York Times identified the latest American employee evacuated as Mark A. Lenzi, a security engineering officer at the consulate who left Wednesday night with his wife and two children.

Sponsored

Lenzi told the Times he resided in the same apartment tower as the officer evacuated in April and suffered in recent months from what he called “neurological symptoms.”

Volume
KQED Live
Live Stream
Log In ToPledge-Free Stream
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
Live Stream information currently unavailable.
Share
LATEST NEWSCAST
KQED
NPR
KQED Live

Live Stream

Live Stream information currently unavailable.