Advertisement

More American diplomats in China hit with mystery health issues, U.S. says 

Vehicles pass by high-rise apartment buildings in The Canton Place where U.S. government workers experienced unexplained health issues in Guangzhou, southern China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7, 2018. AP Photo/Kelvin Chan

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

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

READ MORE: Sonic attacks in China? U.S. issues warning of similar incident that injured Canadians in Cuba

She said tests are being offered to “any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening.”

Security guards outside the consulate checked reporter’s IDs on Thursday and told them to leave the area and not attempt to talk to consulate staff.

Story continues below advertisement

China says it has no information about the incident’s cause.

Global News reached out to Global Affairs Canada to see if any Canadian diplomats were affected, but did not hear back at the time of publication.

WATCH: Mike Pompeo vows to find out the cause of the ‘sonic attack’ on consulate staff in China

Click to play video 'Mike Pompeo vows to find out the cause of the ‘sonic attack’ on consulate staff in China' Mike Pompeo vows to find out the cause of the ‘sonic attack’ on consulate staff in China
Mike Pompeo vows to find out the cause of the ‘sonic attack’ on consulate staff in China – May 24, 2018

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

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.”

Lenzi’s apartment was in one of several high-rise buildings in The Canton Place featuring restaurants and galleries spaced around a central plaza. Another diplomat who reported symptoms was at a different upscale building near the consulate.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Eight Canadians sickened in mysterious Cuba incidents, RCMP leading investigation

A U.S. official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation publicly and requested anonymity, said the evacuated Americans are being brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania. That’s where doctors have been treating and studying patients evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The China 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.

WATCH: Secret “sonic weapon” could be giving diplomats in Cuba brain injuries

Click to play video 'Secret “sonic weapon” could be giving diplomats in Cuba brain injuries' Secret “sonic weapon” could be giving diplomats in Cuba brain injuries
Secret “sonic weapon” could be giving diplomats in Cuba brain injuries – Aug 24, 2017

The American government worker who was removed from China earlier reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.”

Story continues below advertisement

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had “said all the right things and have demonstrated their willingness to help us identify the vector which led to this medical incident.”

The China incidents affect one of the most important of the seven U.S. diplomatic outposts in the country. The Guangzhou consulate opened months after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Washington in 1979 and moved to its new purpose-built facility in 2013.

It serves four southern provinces with a combined population of more than 204 million and processes more than 1 million visa applications of all types annually. It is also the only U.S. diplomatic installation in China authorized to process immigrant visas and handle adoptions.

WATCH: Canada has no clue what made Cuba diplomats sick

Click to play video 'Canada has no clue what made Cuba diplomats sick' Canada has no clue what made Cuba diplomats sick
Canada has no clue what made Cuba diplomats sick – Jan 10, 2018

Sponsored content