The U.S. Embassy in China on Friday sent out an alert to Americans traveling abroad that they needed to seek medical attention immediately if they start to experience similar symptoms shared by U.S. staffers in China and Cuba.
The State Department is taking the most recent reports in China very seriously and alerted staff in the country after consulate staffers fell ill in the city of Guangzhou in May, according to Politico. At least two diplomats have recently been evacuated from China after having heard strange noises, and the number impacted may be on the rise.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also said at the time that the Chinese government assured the State Department that it is investigating the symptoms felt by the U.S. government employee.
Since the incident, other employees from the consulate and their families have been evacuated. There is a U.S. medical team in Guangzhou assessing whether more people need to leave China, the Associated Press reported.
The “sonic attacks” on American personnel in Cuba resulted in severe hearing loss for some. The Cuban government denied involvement in the attacks and the State Department sent more than 60 percent of Americans working at the U.S. embassy there home.
“Symptoms to be attentive for include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints and hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping,” the warning stated.
The FBI launched an investigation that lasted a year following attacks in Havana, but they were unable to determine what caused the phenomena. The incident rattled U.S.-Cuba relations, but the occurrence of similar symptoms in China has raised suspicions about whether China, Russia, or another country might be to blame. The FBI and medical experts still do not have a lot of answers when it comes to what has caused the mysterious illness.