The Week (US)

What is Havana syndrome?


It’s the name given to a mysterious constellat­ion of symptoms that first surfaced among American officials in Havana in 2016. Dozens of diplomats and CIA officers stationed in the U.S. Embassy there began falling ill with vertigo, headaches, fatigue, hearing loss, visual disturbanc­es, cognitive impairment, and other symptoms. Some said at the outset they heard clicking and other odd sounds and felt intense pressure in the head. The following year, diplomats and other U.S. officials in Guangzhou, China, reported similar problems. Numerous CIA officers in Asia, Europe, and Australia have been afflicted over the past couple years, according to news accounts; CBS reports that more than a dozen CIA officials have returned to the U.S. for medical care so far this year, many requiring emergency evacuation. In a worrying developmen­t, two National Security Council officials reported being struck by Havana-like symptoms near the White House in November. One later told The New Yorker he fell to the ground, couldn’t speak, and suddenly felt as if “I was going to die.”

 ??  ?? Ground zero: The U.S. Embassy in Havana
Ground zero: The U.S. Embassy in Havana

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