Havana syndrome cases are rising, US officials say

A CIA officer was recently evacuated from Serbia after developing symptoms consistent with "Havana syndrome," marking the latest in a string of cases involving U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 28

People believed to have the condition report hearing a loud sound and pressure in their heads before experiencing dizziness, unsteady gait and visual disturbances, according to a 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences. The cause of the symptoms is still unknown, though scientists and officials said they suspect some type of directed-energy source is to blame. 

The latest case comes after officials traveling in India and Vietnam reported similar symptoms in late summer. 

"In the past 60 to 90 days, there have been a number of other reported cases. They are seen as valid reports with verified health indicators," James Giordano, PhD, a neurology professor at Washington, D.C.-based Georgetown University who is advising the federal government on the health issue, told the Journal

About 200 Americans have reported symptoms potentially linked to Havana syndrome since the mysterious illness was first identified in 2016 among diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. The Biden administration said investigation of the incidents is a top priority.

"We take each report we receive extremely seriously and are working to ensure that affected employees get the care and support they need," a spokesperson for the State Department told the Journal.

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