First case of ‘Havana syndrome’ reported in India

For the first time, Havana syndrome has been reported in India after a CIA officer reported symptoms similar to the mysterious illness during his visit to New Delhi earlier this month. A Central Intelligence Agency official who accompanied CIA Director William Burns to India earlier this month suffered symptoms consistent with the so-called Havana Syndrome, a mysterious neurological illness that has struck American diplomats and spies in many parts of the world, multiple media reports said on Tuesday.

The unidentified official was immediately tested for the weird brain symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. It is the latest reported case of a U.S. government employee reporting symptoms associated with the mysterious ailment. The case is one of a number of new incidents in recent months involving CIA personnel who have experienced what U.S. officials call “anomalous health incidents,” the sources said. As many as 200 US officials and their family members have reported symptoms of the illness, which include migraines, nausea, memory lapses, and dizziness. American officials deputed at the US embassy in Cuba first reported the symptoms in 2016. Late last month, at least two U.S. diplomats were medically evacuated from Vietnam after Havana Syndrome incidents were reported in the capital city, Hanoi, ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris’ arrival.

Five years since being first reported, doctors and scientists are yet to ascertain what causes Havana syndrome. Different theories have done the rounds since then — from psychological illness to some sort of sonic weapon. However, microwave radiation has emerged to be the “plausible” cause, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS).