What is Havana Syndrome? Intelligence Agencies Probing Mysterious Illness Among US Diplomats

Reports reveal that the number of cases of the 'Havana Syndrome' has increased in the United States and other countries. NBC News reported that a fresh wave of the syndrome has been observed in recent weeks. Nearly 200 Americans including a baby have been suffering from symptoms of this mysterious illness, with around half of those cases involving CIA officers and their families, according to a report.

Last month, a former CIA officer opened up about having the Havana Syndrome. Marc Polymeropoulos, who is a victim of the mysterious illness, had persistent headaches for years, and had to take early retirement.

He visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for art therapy and acupuncture once a week. "It's been three years of a splitting migraine," he told Insider. "I have pressure on the top of my head and in the back of my head all the time," said Polymeropoulos, who happens to be one of the first people to suffer from the syndrome said.

Polymeropoulos, 52, was working for the CIA when he was sent to Russia on a 10-day visit. The former CIA officer didn't know what illness he was suffering from at the time. His symptoms were later termed the 'Havana Syndrome'.

Since then many US diplomats, intelligence operatives including other personnel stationed in Russia, China and Cuba have experienced the same set of health issues. The mysterious illness was first reported in 2016 by diplomats from the United States embassy in Havana (Cuba).

What is Havana Syndrome

However, medical experts have not yet been able to determine the exact cause of the mysterious illness, giving rise to strange theories about the Havana Syndrome.

What is Havana Syndrome?

While the cause of this mysterious illness is being investigated, victims who have Havana Syndrome hear a loud noise and feel an intense pressure or vibration in their head, dizziness and pain in their ear.

It's weird that some of the victims revealed they felt their symptoms stopped when they went to another room and returned when they went back to the same spot where they first experienced the symptoms. Some have even experienced chronic insomnia, headaches, and even brain damage, according to reports.

Vienna Reported New Cases Of The 'Havana Syndrome'

Reportedly, the Vienna State Department is currently looking into new reports of the mysterious illness. However, details of the same are yet to be revealed. Many US diplomats in Vienna have complained about the symptoms of the mysterious illness lately.

An intensive investigation has been launched to find the cause of unexplained health incidents among American personnel. A panel of experts led by senior intelligence officers has met in recent weeks on the mysterious "Havana syndrome" to discuss methods of identifying the cause and potential mechanisms of the mysterious illnesses.

Senior officers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA including scientific experts from outside government who are already cleared to access classified material are working together on the case. Meanwhile, the Austrian authorities have also considered the matter seriously and have started working on a solution despite not knowing the exact source of the problem.

"The intelligence community has convened a panel of experts from across the U.S. government and private sector to work collectively to increase understanding of the possible mechanisms that are causing these anomalous health incidents," an intelligence official told media, according to reports.

The panel was set up by President Joe Biden last month to study the strange sensory phenomenon that has baffled and concerned the government since 2016 when US diplomats in Cuba became seriously ill with mysterious symptoms.