Jan. 29 (UPI) -- More than a dozen U.S. citizens who traveled to Cuba reported symptoms similar to those exerpiened by diplomats who subjected to alleged sonic attacks, the U.S. State Department said Monday.
The department said it received 19 reports of citizens experiencing ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping after traveling to Cuba since Sept. 29, when the United States issued a a travel warning.
"We continue to urge U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Cuba," a State Department official said.
Last year 24 U.S. Embassy workers reported experiencing similar symptoms from "attacks" that began in November 2016.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he planned to open a high-level investigation into the unexplained incidents and 17 Cuban diplomats were expelled from the United States.
The State Department didn't clarify whether U.S. doctors and investigators were able to determine if travelers were subject to the same alleged attacks as the diplomats.
"We are not in a position to medically evaluate or provide individual medical advice," a State Department representative said. "However, we encourage private U.S. citizens who have traveled to Cuba and are concerned about their symptoms to seek medical attention."
Cuba's government has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, referring to the sonic attacks as "science fiction."
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said she had "no evidence" the attacks occurred after meeting with Cubans and U.S. officials on a trip to Havana last week.
She added that travel to Cuba is down 35 percent following the travel warning.
"I think we should restore our diplomats and either end this travel warning or share with the public the evidence that supports the travel warning," Lee said.