The US is bringing back a group of diplomats from China for further medical evaluation over concerns they were suffering from a mysterious illness similar to those reported by its personnel in Cuba, an official said today.
The move comes after the State Department recently received medical confirmation that one of the US government employees had suffered a medical incident in China that was consistent with what an American personnel in Havana, Cuba had experienced.
Thereafter, the US State Department deployed a medical team to Guangzhou, China to conduct a medical screening of all US government employees and family members who requested it. The medical screenings are ongoing for any personnel who have noted concerning symptoms or wanted baseline screening, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
"As a result of the screening process so far, the Department has sent a number of individuals for further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms and findings in the United States," she said.
"The US medical professionals will continue to conduct full evaluations to determine the cause of the reported symptoms and whether the findings are consistent with those noted in previously affected government personnel or possibly completely unrelated," Nauert said.
Recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the formation of the Health Incidents Task Force, which serves as the coordinating body for the State Department and other US government agencies.
The task force will continue to address the unexplained health incidents that have affected US government personnel and their family members stationed overseas, Nauert said.
Last month, the State Department issued a travel warning after a US employee in China reported "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure".
This was consistent with symptoms experienced by some US personnel in Cuba.