Injuries of US diplomats in China differ from those in Cuba

October 24, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fourteen of 15 U.S. diplomats pulled from China for medical testing this year have been found not to have the same set of injuries as personnel evacuated earlier from Cuba, the State Department said Wednesday.

The department said 14 of the 15 brought to the U.S. for medical testing earlier this year did not present the “constellation” of symptoms suffered by more than two dozen diplomats in Cuba that it blames on mysterious health attacks. Results for the 15th were inconclusive, it said.


The diagnosis of an initial patient from China found to have Cuba-like injuries stands. But the new findings may ease fears that whatever affected the diplomats in Havana has spread.

In May, a diplomat posted in China was confirmed to have Havana-like symptoms, sparking fears the alleged Cuba attacks had also occurred on another continent. Some 300 diplomats and family members in China sought preliminary testing from State Department medical staff. Fifteen of them were identified as needing additional evaluation in the U.S.

“Of those 15, 14 were found not to have a constellation of symptoms and objective findings similar to that of the Havana Cohort,” the department said in an emailed response to a query from The Associated Press. “One individual is indeterminate,” it added.

The Havana Cohort is the name given to the group of 26 Cuba-based diplomats who the department says suffered injuries, including dizziness, headaches and mild brain damage, from the alleged mystery attacks for which the specific cause and culprit are still unidentified.

U.S. officials have not blamed Cuba for the alleged attacks but hold Cuba responsible for the safety of American government personnel on the island. The State Department has dramatically reduced its staff at the embassy in Havana.

Cuba has denied any knowledge of the attacks, has accused the U.S. of making the allegation without proof for political purposes and has repeatedly sought more information from the U.S. about the matter.

The State Department said Wednesday that the Cuba investigation is ongoing and that no conclusions have been reached.