Americans screened over mystery health issues in China

Americans screened over mystery health issues in China
Americans screened over mystery health issues in China

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. 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. Asked about the latest incidents, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the U.S. had not formally raised the matter with Beijing. “If the U.S. makes formal contact with us, China will continue necessary investigations in an earnest and responsible manner and maintain close communication and cooperation with the U.S.,” Hua said at a regularly scheduled news conference. China had earlier said it had no information about the cause of the symptoms. 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. 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.

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