USA evacuates China staffers as illness mystery deepens

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the symptoms of the first American employee in Guangzhou to report being ill "are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba". One case in Guangzhou had been disclosed last month.

The US said its officials were the victims of "specific attacks", but has not yet blamed anyone for being responsible.

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". Another diplomat who reported symptoms was at a different upscale building near the consulate.

Officials said the safety of American personnel and their families was their "top priority". That's where doctors have been treating and studying patients evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Jinnie Lee, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing told The Washington Post in May that the Chinese government "has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a congressional hearing in May that the symptoms experienced by a U.S. diplomat a year ago in Guangzhou "are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba".

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"After almost a year of investigation that has drawn on intelligence, defense and technology expertise from across the USA government, the FBI has been unable to determine who might have attacked the diplomats or how".

An examination of more than 20 affected individuals, conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers and later published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that the staff affected in Cuba "appeared to have sustained injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma".

Canada said the 10 continued to show unexplained brain symptoms and that "medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury".

Symptoms included dizziness, headaches and an inability to concentrate.

The State Department was not immediately available to comment and Reuters did not independently verify the report.

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. It is also the only U.S. diplomatic installation in China authorised to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

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