By: Valeria Mancuso
What is Havana Syndrome?
Havana Syndrome is a condition officials know very little about. It is characterized by a broad range of unexplained symptoms such as migraines, fatigue, vertigo, anxiety, dizziness, loss of memory and cognitive impairment. Some cases, people stated the symptoms were mild. However, others explained that they were persistent and required long-term care.
Where and when was it first documented?
The first case was reported among the United States personnel in Havana, Cuba in late 2016. CIA officers stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Havana reported feeling all the symptoms. After all officials were tested, brain scans showed tissue damage normally seen in patients with concussions after a bomb blast or car accident. The Obama administration than evacuated the embassy staff from Cuba.
Since then, suspected cases of Havana syndrome among U.S. diplomatic and intelligence officers have cropped up in multiple countries. 200 incidents have been reported among United States personnel in many countries such as Russia, China, Columbia, Uzbekistan and the U.S. itself.
Who and what is causing it?
After research, an expert panel convened by U.S. intelligence agencies discovered a range of potential causes including acoustic signals, chemical and biological agents, ionizing radiation, radiofrequency, and other electromagnetic energy.
Current intelligence believed Russia is responsible for this mysterious syndrome. No evidence has been made public.