The mysterious Havana syndrome has resurfaced with U.S. Embassy personnel. Now five families associated with the embassy in Colombia are victims, US media reports.
Havana syndrome was first observed in 2016 and 2017, by staff at the US and Canadian embassies in Cuba. Several U.S. embassies have been reported since then. Most recently, this happened in Vienna in July, last week in Berlin and now also in the Colombian capital Bogota.
Victims suffer from dizziness, balance disorders, hearing loss and anxiety, as well as something they describe as ‘brain mist’, which amounts to concentration problems and amnesia. “Some people hear abrasive sounds, others hear vibrations in their heads,” a former high-ranking diplomat tells The Wall Street Journal. “The situation is very bizarre.”
Lots of research, but still little known
A lot of research has been done on the cause: scientists first thought there was an ‘acoustic attack’ with harmful sound waves. After that, they argued that courtship crickets caused the inexplicable sound, but the most recent US research shows that it is due to radiation from targeted microwaves. Who or what caused the radiation is still a mystery.
Around 200 victims
worldwide would have been around 200 US victims, but the exact number is difficult to pinpoint because not everyone with symptoms reports. According to the former diplomat, many victims work for the intelligence service, including those of the embassy in Bogotá.