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State Department still investigating diplomats’ illnesses in Cuba, China

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officers are still investigating well being issues on the U.S. embassy in Cuba, and have no idea who or what was behind the mysterious illnesses, which started in 2016 and have affected 26 Americans.

A safety officer stands subsequent to the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, June eight, 2018. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/File Photo

“We don’t know who is responsible and we don’t know what is responsible for this,” Kenneth Merten, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, instructed a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee listening to.

The administration of President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled again a detente with Cuba, responded to the well being issues by sharply lowering employees in Havana and in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats.

Cuban officers, who’re conducting their very own investigation, have denied any involvement or data of what was behind it.

Symptoms have included listening to loss, tinnitus, vertigo, complications and fatigue, a sample according to “mild traumatic brain injury,” State Department officers have mentioned.

In April, Canada mentioned it could take away households of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as info from medical specialists raised considerations a couple of new kind of mind harm.

The State Department mentioned final month it introduced a gaggle of diplomats residence from Guangzhou, China, over concern they have been affected by a mysterious illness resembling mind harm.

Merten mentioned he was not conscious of every other embassies having been affected.

“We have taken this … very seriously, both in the Cuba context and the China context which is, frankly, still very much evolving,” he mentioned.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Patricia Zengerle; modifying by Susan Thomas

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