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What is Havana Syndrome, and what causes it?

In late 2016, CIA officials and State Department personnel working at the American embassy in Havana initially reported symptoms of what became known as the Havana sickness. Here is what’s known about the condition:

What does Havana Syndrome feel like? The Symptoms: 

Individuals who have experienced “Havana Syndrome” reported hearing loud mechanical noises and/or feeling uncomfortable pressure, similar to the feeling of speeding in a car with one window half down. Some people have reported feeling as though they were hit by a beam of energy when the symptoms first appeared.

There have also been reports of vertigo, eye issues, and difficulty concentrating. Some ambassadors and agents developed hearing loss as a result of the auditory symptoms, with some cases being so severe that workers were compelled to conclude their tours early and return to the United States for study and outpatient treatment.

 

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What causes Havana Syndrome?

A recent CIA inquiry found no proof that a foreign government was to blame for strange illnesses that afflicted hundreds of US diplomats and intelligence officials in several places in recent years. According to an interim analysis by the intelligence agency, the majority of the illnesses appear to be due to previously undiscovered medical issues or stress.

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