• CIA Officer Reports Havana Syndrome Symptoms On Trip To India

    Havana Syndrome, a mysterious neurological illness, was first reported in Cuba in late 2016.

    A CIA officer who was travelling with agency director William Burns to India this month reported symptoms similar to the Havana syndrome. This is the first media report regarding a US official being afflicted by Havana syndrome in the country.

    The US officer had to receive medical aid during his stay in India, as reported by CNN and NYT.

    The concerned incident was reported after US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s visit to Vietnam was delayed when multiple US personnel reported Havana syndrome symptoms just ahead of her trip last month.

    On September 7, Burns and his delegation met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and top members of National Security Council Secretariat during the visit to India. The delegation then travelled to Pakistan, where Burns met army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.

    Havana Syndrome, a mysterious neurological illness, was first reported in Cuba in late 2016 and is afflicting American spies and diplomats in Russia, China, Austria.

    In late 2016, the US diplomats and other employees stationed in Cuba’s capital, Havana, described the sensation of pressure in their heads, which sounded like a swarm of cicadas. They suffered from nausea, severe headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems, and hearing loss. Some of them also had trouble in remembering things. This has since come to be known as "Havana syndrome".

    About 200 US officials and their family members have reportedly experienced symptoms similar to this illness since 2016, as per reports.

    According to a 2019 US academic study, "brain abnormalities" were found in diplomats who had fallen ill.

    Since the time first case was reported, doctors and scientists are yet to ascertain what causes Havana syndrome. Several theories have done the rounds since then -- from psychological illness to some sort of sonic weapon.

    However, a theory by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) emerged to be the ‘plausible’ reason which shows ‘directed, pulsed radio frequency energy" could be cause behind the syndrome. While another section has altogether dismissed the syndrome by saying that the stressful environment of foreign missions was behind US diplomats experiencing such symptoms.

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