Havana syndrome brain injury: 130 US spies, diplomats, officials hit by mysterious illness

WION Web Team
WASHINGTON Published: May 14, 2021, 09:02 AM(IST)

File photo: US Marines stand outside the Embassy of the United State of America in Havana, on February 21, 2018. Photograph:( AFP )

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Havana syndrome is a set of medical signs and symptoms reported by the United States and Canadian embassy staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016 as well as subsequently in some other countries, including the United States

The US Senate Intelligence Committee said on Friday they were investigating incidents of a mysterious "directed" radio energy on US diplomats, known as the "Havana syndrome".

The investigation is being carried out after media reports of potentially brain-damaging ailments in Cuba. 

The US intel agencies have intensely investigated a series of health incidents, deemed “directed-energy attacks,” which have injured American officers in Cuba, China, Russia, and elsewhere. 

Havana syndrome is a set of medical signs and symptoms reported by the United States and Canadian embassy staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016 as well as subsequently in some other countries, including the United States.

US diplomats were hit by the mysterious, debilitating illness consistent with Traumatic Brain Injury.

Complaints include ear-popping, vertigo, pounding headaches and nausea, sometimes accompanied by an unidentified “piercing directional noise.”

Over the past two years, two such incidents have reportedly occurred in the US including one close to the White House.

The majority of the incidents have involved officials stationed in other countries.

According to a report by The New York Times, three CIA officers had reported serious symptoms since December, following overseas assignments, requiring outpatient treatment at the Walter Reed military hospital in Washington. One episode was within the past two weeks.

In many of the cases, the officers felt so sick, so suddenly, that they required emergency medical evacuation, two people familiar with the matter said. The recent incidents have taken place on three continents, according to one source.  

The US Department of Defence has been working on a wearable sensor that would detect invisible radio frequencies to stop the ‘Havana syndrome’ energy attack.

(With inputs from agencies)

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