HAVANA — Cuba released details Sunday on the latest mysterious health incident involving a U.S. diplomat in the country, saying that Cuban officials learned of the episode late last month when the United States said that an embassy official felt ill after hearing “undefined sounds” in her home in Havana.
Cuba said in a statement released by its Foreign Ministry that U.S. officials reported May 29 that the embassy official had reported experiencing “health symptoms” after hearing the sounds in her home two days earlier.
Cuba said that it sent investigators to the home and that they found no potential source of a sound. They were not granted access to the official, Cuba said.
U.S. officials said Friday that they had pulled two workers from Cuba and were testing them for possible brain injury. There was no immediate explanation of why the Cuban statement referred to only one.
The two individuals are considered “potentially new cases” but have not yet been “medically confirmed,” a State Department official said. Two other officials said the individuals have been brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors have been evaluating, treating and studying Americans affected in Cuba last year, as well as almost 10 new possible cases from a U.S. consulate in China.
The officials were not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.
If confirmed by doctors to have the same condition, the two individuals would mark the 25th and 26th confirmed patients from the strange incidents in Cuba that were first disclosed last year and have been deemed “specific attacks” by the U.S. government. The United States has said it doesn’t know who is behind it, but has argued that Cuba is responsible for protecting all diplomats on its soil. Cuba has denied any involvement in or knowledge of the events.
“Cuba has publicly and officially reiterated its willing to cooperate seriously in the joint search for answers, clarity and the solution of the alleged facts,” the Cuban statement said Sunday.
The potential new cases come as the United States has been issuing health alerts to Americans in China after a worker at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou reported symptoms and strange sounds and was flown home. That worker was then confirmed to have “suffered a medical incident consistent with what other U.S. government personnel experienced in Havana, Cuba,” the State Department has said.