HomeTop NewsUSAHavana syndrome outbreak: CIA removes Vienna station chief

Havana syndrome outbreak: CIA removes Vienna station chief

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The syndrome has been reported in dozens of US personnel and their children in Vienna.

Dozens of US staffing in Austria’s capital, as well as their children, have reported cases of the syndrome, according to the Washington Post.

The problem first surfaced at the US embassy in Havana, Cuba, in 2016.

Those who have been affected report hearing buzzing sounds coming from one direction and feeling pressure in their heads.

Other people have reported nausea, dizziness, and fatigue, among other symptoms.

According to the Post, Vienna has had more cases of the syndrome than any other city except Havana.

When contacted by journalists, the CIA declined to comment on the report.

Unnamed US officials are quoted in the paper as saying that removing the top officer in Vienna would send a message to leaders that Havana syndrome should be taken seriously.

Earlier this week it emerged that a CIA officer travelling to India this month with the agency’s director, William J Burns, had reported symptoms of the syndrome.

In August, Vice President Kamala Harris’ flight from Singapore to Hanoi, Vietnam, was briefly delayed due to symptoms reported by an American official.

A scientific paper of those affected in Cuba, published in 2018, discovered that the diplomats had suffered from a type of brain injury.

Last year, a panel of scientists from the United States’ National Academy of Sciences concluded that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy” was the most plausible explanation.

In June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an investigation into the illness’s causes. Earlier this week, a US government source told Reuters that a dedicated task force was being led by a CIA official who had previously worked on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Mr Burns stated in July that approximately 200 US officials and relatives had experienced Havana syndrome, with approximately 100 of them being CIA officers and their family members.

He has also previously stated that there is a “very strong possibility” that the syndrome is intentionally caused, and has suggested that Russia may be to blame – an allegation that Moscow has denied.

Image Credit: Getty

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