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Mystery illness strikes US Consulate workers in China

A US worker and his family were evacuated from the Guangzhou consulate after they had symptoms like those that left 24 people in Cuba with ‘brain injuries’

Washington: Two more US citizens have been evacuated from a US consulate in Guangzhou, China, after suffering what appears to be the same strange, sound-related illness that befell Cuba consulate workers in 2017, it emerged on Wednesday, South China Morning Post reported.

US Consulate worker Mark Lenzi and his wife heard strange noises over the course of several months before falling ill with what they described as neurological symptoms, The New York Times reported.

On Wednesday night they were flown to the US with their children, including a three-year-old boy who was also affected.

Speaking to The Washington Post that same day, Lenzi described the sound as being like “marbles bouncing and hitting a floor then rolling on an incline with a static sound”.

They asked their neighbour if he was responsible, but he denied it. Months later, the couple began to develop excruciating headaches and suffer sleep deprivation – as did their son. Consulate doctors prescribed painkillers and sleeping tablets, they said.

Then, last month, he found out that their neighbour had been evacuated from the consulate, having suffered similar symptoms. Those included “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure”, the State Department said at the time.

China doesn’t found reason behind illness

China has found no clues to determine what caused a US government employee to suffer a brain trauma after experiencing unusual sounds, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. “China has conducted a very careful investigation and has given preliminary findings to the US, and we haven’t found the reason or clues that led to the situation mentioned by the US,” foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing.

Here is a recording of the ‘sonic attack’

It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe. Listen closely: There are hear multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they’re colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect. The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some US Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recording, released by the AP, is the first disseminated publicly of the many taken in Cuba of mysterious sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon.

 

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