What is "Havana Syndrome", this mysterious disease that strikes American diplomats?

This is one of the mysteries surrounding American diplomatic missions. After Havana, Vienna, Hanoi, Berlin, Canton, Moscow, Bogota, Taiwan or even Washington, the “Havana syndrome” would have been detected in Geneva and Paris. This is what the Wall Street Journal announces this Thursday. At least three Americans serving at the Geneva consulate have reportedly suffered from the syndrome. One of them was evacuated to the United States for treatment. In Paris, a suspected case has been identified.

This mysterious disease which is characterized by headaches, loss of balance, nausea, hearing problems, impaired vision and speech appeared for the first time in the Cuban capital between 2016 and 2018, hence the name given to the disease. In total, some 200 people, staff, managers and their families, have exhibited these symptoms since 2016.

Several hypotheses

Since then, the United States has tried in vain to find the cause and the origin of this evil. Several hypotheses have been raised: from collective hysteria due to stress to microwave radiation through possible attacks by radio waves, where suspicion is focused on countries like Russia. Several scientists have nevertheless questioned this second hypothesis, judging improbable a common cause for all the reported cases.

In November, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced the appointment of two diplomats to follow up on the case: Jonathan Moore, responsible for coordinating the State Department’s response, and Margaret Uyehara, who will be responsible for ensuring that anyone reporting symptoms receive appropriate medical attention.

“We are working tirelessly, within government, to clarify what happened, find out who is responsible and, at the same time, ensure care for those who have been affected and protect our representatives as best as possible. we can “, Anthony Blinken said Thursday on the American channel MSNBC.

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