U.S. embassy in China
A paramilitary police officer guards the entrance to the U.S. embassy in Beijing, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The United States embassy in Beijing issued a health alert to its citizens in China on Wednesday after a U.S. government employee in the south of the country reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure and also suffered a mild brain injury.

This incident was similar to a mysterious illness that hit American diplomats in Cuba last year.

Embassy spokeswoman Jinnie Lee said Chinese and U.S. authorities were investigating the matter after an employee was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury and showed "a variety of physical symptoms" between late 2017 through April 2018, Daily Mail reported.

The employee, assigned to the American consulate in Guangzhou, China, was sent to U.S. last Friday where he was diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury.

The embassy sent an alert mail to the U.S. citizens in China, stating the office does not know what caused the symptoms and was not aware of any such case in the country.

"The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event," the mail said.

"While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present," it said, urging the citizens to report any symptoms or medical problems.

“If you have concerns about any symptoms or medical problems that developed during or after a stay in China, consult a medical professional,” U.S. embassy in China told in a press statement.

Though the department has not linked the incident to any other case, the news drew comparison to the mysterious "sonic attacks" on Canadian and U.S. diplomats in Cuba last year.

U.S. disclosed last year that 24 diplomats and their family members in Cuba had fallen prey to a mysterious attack that left them with injuries resembling brain trauma. Ten Canadian diplomats and their relatives also suffered from the same illness.

Sounds, symptoms and sensations reportedly varied from person to person. The diplomats complained of hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches and fatigue.

After the incident, U.S. withdrew a large number of embassy staff stationed in Cuba.

The incident also created a rift between U.S. and Cuba after officials suspected the Americans were being targeted by some sort of acoustic weapon initially. However, FBI was unable to verify any evidence to support the theory.

The former U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, stated the symptoms were a result of "targeted attacks," but did not mention who may have been behind them. Calling the allegations a "political manipulation," Cuba stated then it was aimed at undermining U.S.-Cuban relations.