The US just made an important link between a mysterious illness in China and strange noises in Cuba

A woman walks under a Cuban flag on March 22, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.

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A woman walks under a Cuban flag on March 22, 2012 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • The US State Department has linked a mysterious illness contracted by an employee in China with brain injuries developed by diplomats in Cuba.
  • The US Embassy in China sent out its second health advisory in two weeks saying the employee’s medical incident is “consistent with what other US government personnel experienced in Havana.”
  • The State Department warned citizens to look out for symptoms including dizziness, headaches, visual problems, and hearing loss, and advised people to not search out unusual sounds.
  • Earlier this week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set up a health task force to develop a multi-agency response to the incidents in China and Cuba.

The US has linked a mysterious illness contracted by a government employee in China to strange sounds heard by US diplomats in Cuba for the first time.

In an unusual move on Friday, the US Embassy in China sent out its second health advisory in two weeks warning US citizens to contact a doctor if they feel unwell and to not try to locate the source of “any unidentified auditory sensation.”

The alert came after a US government employee in Guangzhou recently experienced “vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure” and developed mild traumatic brain injury, the same condition US officials developed in a serious of unusual events in Cuba.

But the US seems to have confirmed the link between the two incidents.

“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,” the advisory read.

It also advised any US citizen, or their family members, who experience “any unusual, unexplained physical symptoms or events, auditory or sensory phenomena, or other health concerns” to contact their doctor. Symptoms citizens were urged to look out for include dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, ear complaints, hearing loss, and difficulty sleeping.

These are the same symptoms victims in Havana, of which there are more than 20, reported experiencing. Some of those individuals didn’t feel or hear anything strange, but others reported hearing strange noises that some have linked to “sonic attacks.”

Despite Trump blaming Cuba, Cuban officials have denied any involvement. The State Department distanced itself from Trump’s claim, but it did expel 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington last year.

AP recently reported the US State Department has determined the incidents in Cuba were “specific attacks” on diplomats is trying to cut staffing numbers by more than 50%.

On June 5, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the establishment of a task force meant to respond to these mysterious incidents.

“​At this time, 24 U.S. government personnel and family members who served in Cuba have been medically-confirmed as having symptoms and clinical findings similar to those noted following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury. On May 16, 2018, a U.S. government employee serving in China was medically-confirmed with similar findings,” Pompeo said.