What is Havana syndrome?

Havana Syndrome was first reported in diplomats who were stationed in Cuba in 2016. They experienced a strange set of symptoms that prompted a series of government and scientific investigations. Some officials called it anomalous health incidents while some called attacks. Most recent cases were reported in Asia in 2018 and in central Europe in 2021.

What is Havana Syndrome?

This syndrome is a series of unexplained medical symptoms that were first experienced by U.S. State Department personnel who were based in Cuba in 2016. State department also reported such cases in 2018 in China.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms associated with the syndrome includes headache, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, cognitive difficulties and memory loss of varying severity.

What causes the syndrome?

Initially, it was believed that the syndrome is the result of an attack by a sonic or acoustic weapon. But later a comprehensive analysis by a U.S. scientific panel pointed that exposure to a type of directed energy is the main culprit. A different medical assessment conducted in 2018 noted that exposure to microwaves is the main cause.

U.S. government reaction

Former President Donald Trump had directly blamed Cuba for initial wave of the syndrome. However, Havana denied this accusation. Now, State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have established an internal task force to investigate the matter. Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA) Act was also passed unanimously in Congress. It will authorize additional medical and financial support to the intelligence officers and diplomats affected by the bill. Bill has also been introduced in the House.




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