They were calling it ‘Havana Syndrome’ — a profile of ailments common among diplomats stationed in Cuba in 2016, and it had medical science baffled.
Diplomats serving in Havanna around that time had some serious medical complaints, including
…hearing loud noise accompanied by pain in one or both ears or across the head; other symptoms included ringing in the ears, vision problems, vertigo and cognitive difficulties, according to the report.
In the following years, people working at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China, reported similar symptoms, as did CIA officers in Russia and other countries, according to the report and NBC News. The mysterious illness became known as “The Havana Syndrome,” and for some, it became “chronic and debilitating,” according to the report. –LiveScience
Frankly, the experts had no answers about what could have been causing this.
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The U.S. Department of State (DOS) asked a committee of medical and other experts to review the cases, find scientific evidence suggesting possible causes and to provide recommendations for investigating future cases. The committee found that the symptoms were unlike those associated with any other disorder found in the general medical literature, according to the report. They considered many causes, such as radio frequency energy, chemical exposures, infectious diseases and psychological issues.
The committee concluded that the symptoms and their onset were “consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy,” David Relman, the chair of the committee, wrote in the report. “Studies published in the open literature more than a half-century ago and over the subsequent decades by Western and Soviet sources provide circumstantial support for this possible mechanism.” Radio frequency energy, which includes radio waves and microwaves, is a type of low-energy radiation.
Other mechanisms could have reinforced some of the effects and caused some of the more chronic symptoms in some, such as persistent dizziness, disorders involving the vestibular system (parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements) and psychological conditions, Relman wrote. –LiveScience
They left the question of whether there was specific intent open for others to determine, but certain clues hint that it may have been deliberate — including the directed and pulsing nature of the radiation in question, as well as the localized impact — certain parts of the building had greater symptoms than others, for example.
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