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Pentagon issues stark new warning about Havana Syndrome attacks as mystery drags on

Havana Syndrome having a ‘real negative effect’ on the health of diplomatic staff, Pentagon warns

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 05 October 2021 22:39 BST
Pentagon Asks Personnel to Report Symptoms of ‘Havana Syndrome’

The Pentagon has warned national security officials to immediately evacuate their immediate surrounds if they detect a sudden onset of pressure, sound or heat in the head.

The warning comes amid continuing fallout from the Havana Syndrome, which has seen more than 100 US diplomatic staff struck down with a mysterious illness.

Both domestic and overseas staff have been told to be on alert for the symptoms, the cause of which remains unexplained.

“We need to believe our personnel who are coming forward,” a senior administration official told McClatchy DC.

“People are facing real symptoms. We are very conscious that people are experiencing something very real, and it is having a real negative effect on their health.

“And we’re seeing better health outcomes the sooner we can respond to that,” the official said.

Havana Syndrome, so called as it was first detected in Cuba, is an unexplained medical phenomenon which causes “sudden and troubling sensory events” that are often followed by “symptoms such as headaches, pain, nausea, or disequilibrium”.

More than a dozen US personnel have been left with permanent brain injuries and other chronic illnesses, with illnesses reported in Vietnam, Austria, China and Washington DC.

A declassified US State Department report obtained by BuzzFeed found the most likely cause of the illness was crickets.

It ruled out radio or microwave weapons as being responsible for buzzing sounds, one of the symptoms of the syndrome, and said the “most likely source” of the sounds was the Indies short-tailed cricket.

“No plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects. We believe the recorded sounds are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic,” the report said.

Offices at the US embassy in Vienna have been closed due to an outbreak of Havana Syndrome symptoms (Bwag/Commons)

Last month, the Department of Defence issued guidance signed by Secretary Lloyd Austin encouraging US service members, DoD employees, and federal contractors to report all instances of the illness.

“If you believe you have experienced a sensory event with the new onset of such symptoms, immediately remove yourself, coworkers, and/or family members from the area and report the incident and symptoms to your chain of command, security officer, and medical provider.

“If you have reason to believe a co-worker or co-workers have likewise experienced [anomalous health incidents], please encourage those individuals to do the same,” Mr Austin wrote.

The CIA reportedly recalled its station chief in Vienna last month because he did not take seriously an outbreak of Havana Syndrome symptoms among embassy employees.

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