U.S. issues alert after employee in China reports 'abnormal' sound sensations

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(CNN) — U.S. officials have issued a health alert after a U.S. government employee stationed in southern China reported "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure" that indicated a mild brain injury.

The official, assigned to the city of Guangzhou, reported a range of physical symptoms from late 2017 through to April 2018, and was sent back to the United States for assessment, the State Department said.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing learned on May 18 that the clinical findings of the evaluation matched that of a "mild traumatic brain injury," an embassy spokeswoman told CNN.

The alert will raise comparisons with a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that led to the withdrawal of most U.S. personnel from the embassy in Havana. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

U.S. officials did not publicly drawn a link between the incident in China and the events in Cuba.

According to the alert issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, the cause of the injuries to the employee in China remains unknown, but officials were not aware of other similar symptoms among the diplomatic community in the country.

The spokeswoman at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing told CNN the State Department was taking the incident "very seriously" and was working to determine the cause and impact of it.

"The Chinese government has assured us they are also investigating and taking appropriate measures," the spokeswoman said.

The State Department said in its Wednesday statement that anyone who experienced "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena" while in China should move away from the source of the noise.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "US issues alert after employee in China reports 'abnormal' sound sensations."