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US issues health warning in China after diplomats hit with mystery illness

US consulate in Guangzhou Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Jun 08, 2018, 10.37 AM (IST)

The US State Department today issued a health warning in China after recalling several diplomats over mysterious illness that has already hit US diplomats in Cuba.

The warning issued this time was for the entire Chinese region after a previous warning last month had mentioned China's southern city of Guangzhou.

"The State Department received medical confirmation that a US government employee in China suffered a medical incident consistent with what other US government personnel experienced in Havana, Cuba," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

On Wednesday, the US had called back several diplomats in China after they "suffered a medical incident". The US government also deployed a team in the consulate to screen employees and family members of diplomats.

Apart from Beijing, the US has consulates in other Chinese cities namely Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan.

The statement by Pompeo warned of  "unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena", and said symptoms included dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints, hearing loss and sleeping difficulty.

China's foreign office spokesman Hua Chunying said the US government had not made any formal communication on new cases, adding that it had investigated other cases and found no clues.

Last year, 24 US government employees and family members in Cuba displayed systems which suggested concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, according to the State Department.

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