CIA official suffered from mysterious ‘Havana syndrome’ during visit to India


New Delhi, first published Sep 21, 2021, 12:07 IST

Surprising information is emerging from the United States about a Central Intelligence Agency official who was traveling with agency director William Burns, reporting symptoms of Havana Syndrome during his visit to India earlier this month.

The incident set off alarm bells in Washington, DC, as similar cases were reported among U.S. personnel in Vietnam last month before U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited the country.

A person with Havana Syndrome has symptoms such as memory loss, nausea, hearing problems, and dizziness. The reported sequelae of Havana Syndrome include tinnitus, decreased muscle control, loss of vision and hearing, and dizziness.

According to CIA officials, the official who experienced these symptoms during the visit to India is still in treatment.

Havana syndrome was first detected in 2017 after U.S. diplomats stationed in Cuba reported health problems after experiencing high-pitched sounds. Similar cases have also been reported from US diplomatic offices in China and even in Europe.

Sources said the Americans still did not know whether the CIA director and his staff were intentionally targeted during the visit to India.

Officials in New Delhi are being quiet about the reports, which first appeared in US media.

Asianet Newsable has contacted the Foreign Office for a response on this matter. However, a response is awaited.

Also read: Research reveals 40 million Chinese will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2050

A CIA spokeswoman was quoted by US media as saying that Director Burns has made it his top priority to ensure that the agency gets to the bottom of this issue and, in this regard, assembles a team of ‘experts. Reports indicate that a senior CIA official who was instrumental in locating Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden is part of the team of experts.

Unofficially, more than 100 U.S. diplomatic personnel have been affected by this unexplained medical phenomenon across the world.

The US Department of Defense last week sent a memo to nearly 3 million employees and contractors about Havana Syndrome. In the memo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged members of the DoD to address cases of sensory events that could have triggered symptoms such as imbalance, headaches, pain and nausea.

Media reports say the Pentagon is working on developing equipment to be worn by government officials to detect the radio frequency that could be causing the health problem.

Also Read: 3000kg of Medicines Worth Rs 21,000 Crore Went To Delhi From Mundra Port

Last updated Sep 21, 2021, 12:12 PM IST

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