Two additional diplomats hit by Havana Syndrome in Germany

Two additional diplomats hit by Havana Syndrome in Germany
First two reported cases of Havana Syndrome in Germany

At least two Berlin-based US diplomats have gone in for medical treatment after experiencing symptoms associated with the “Havana Syndrome”, according to new reporting from The Wall Street Journal.

The diplomats’ work reportedly touched on issues concerning Russia, including cyber security and gas exports, according to the Journal. Russia has denied any involvement with the mysterious illness that has affected more than 100 American personnel.

This is the first time that suspected cases have been reported in Germany. In July, there were reports of numerous US government personnel experiencing Havana Syndrome-related symptoms in Vienna. The US State Department said that they were looking into the causes in a statement. A task force has been established by the CIA to investigate the origins of the syndrome.

In a press briefing on 18 August, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said he knew about the reports but provided no further information.

The reported symptoms can include nausea, severe headaches, ear pain, fatigue, trouble sleeping and lethargy.

The syndrome was first reported in October 2020 by The New York Times. Its name comes after it was first identified in Havana, the capital of Cuba. Over the past five years, more than 130 American diplomats, soldiers and intelligence professionals are thought to have suffered from the illness.

In May 2021, there were reports of two White House officials being affected just after the US election in November 2020, according to CNN. They were said to be the first apparent targets near or on the White House grounds.

Havana Syndrome is not thought to be a naturally occurring illness, but rather an act of aggression from a foreign power. A December 2020 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine said it was likely to originate from a pulse of radiofrequency “directed” at US targets.

The Pentagon said that they are working on developing a device to be worn on officials’ persons to detect the radio-frequency believed to be causing the problem, according to reports.

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