Q. Why is this in news?
A. A recent US intelligence report says that ‘Havana Syndrome’ —a collection of symptoms and related brain injuries, reported by some US officials could be caused by pulsed electromagnetic energy or close-range ultrasound.
Q. What is Havana Syndrome?
- ‘Havana Syndrome’ is a colloquial name given to a set of symptoms such as dizziness, hearing loss, headaches, vertigo, nausea, memory loss and possible brain injuries.
- It was first reported by 16 American Embassy staff and their family members in Havana, Cuba, in 2016-17.
- There have been other instances of the phenomenon, which has mostly impacted US officials.
Q. What did the latest investigation find?
- Such cases have been caused by pulsed electromagnetic energy in the radio frequency.
- The results of the investigation did not point to who may have been behind the phenomenon, nor commented on their motivations.
- A partially redacted report summary finds that the symptoms of AHI are “genuine and compelling.”
Q. What can be the other reasons?
- Psychosocial factors alone do not explain the core characteristics, the report finds, although they may cause other incidents or contribute to long-term effects.
- These other incidents could occur via hyper-vigilance or reactions to stress especially among individuals who are security-oriented.