havana syndrome

Weird! Suspicious ailment affecting only U.S Spies

“Havana syndrome” is a phenomenon first suffered by CIA officers and U.S. diplomats in Havana, Cuba in 2016. 

What kind of ailment is it? 

Symptoms of Havana syndrome include dizziness, vertigo, and extreme fatigue, which often begin after hearing strange chirping sounds. Many sufferers are affiliated with the U.S. government, from intelligence officers to diplomats, leading some within the intelligence community to believe it to be the work of a shadowy enemy looking to take down high-value U.S. targets. In a sick twist of fate, one victim appears to be Dr. Paul Andrews, a CIA doctor who traveled to Cuba in order to study the syndrome. 

What about him? 

Andrews retold his first-hand experience with Havana syndrome in a CNN interview on Sunday. After heading to bed in his Havana hotel, he awoke the next morning to pain in his right ear, nausea, a headache – and a clicking sound. He experienced nausea and disorientation throughout the day preventing him from carrying out even basic tasks. Five years later, he still suffers balance and vision problems. Over the past few years, roughly 1,100 U.S. diplomats and spies have reported symptoms. 

Has it been established to be an attack targeted at U.S. officials? 

While many government officials and many media outlets (and former U.S. President Trump) were quick to attribute the symptoms to a hostile government like Russia or China, no single cause of Havana syndrome has yet to be discovered. According to a comprehensive CIA study, the vast majority of incidents could be “explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress.” The agency also found zero evidence of a foreign government orchestrating microwave attacks on U.S. operatives. 

Either way, the government has found room in the budget to protect its employees – the HAVANA Act, signed into law in 2021, compensates current and former U.S. officials suffering from unexplained brain injuries with payments up to $189,000. If you have a history of migraines, now’s the time to apply for a job at the CIA! 

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