The study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) was commissioned by the US State Department.
In its report, a NASEM expert panel concluded that symptoms like dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and memory loss that were experienced by American diplomats were “consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy.”
Overall, directed pulsed RF energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases.
Vestibular disorder called persistent postural-perceptional dizziness (PPPD) was named as a “secondary reinforcing mechanism” in some patients with chronic symptoms.
The experts did not rule out other possible reasons as well, saying that the illness in some cases could have been caused by “a multiplicity of factors.” They, however, found “no convincing evidence” that diplomats were suffering from pesticides sprayed in Havana, and it was “highly unlikely” that they had fallen victims to the Zika virus.
Pesticides were described as a primary source of the symptoms experienced by US and Canadian diplomats in Havana in a 2019 study commissioned by the Canadian government, and a separate Israeli study from the same year.
“We are pleased this report is now out and can add to the data and analyses that may help us come to an eventual conclusion as to what transpired,” the State Department said in a statement to the media about the NASEM study.
The US government personnel and their families began reporting symptoms like dizziness, ear pain and visual problems while stationed in Havana in late 2016 and in the American consulate in Guangzhou in southern China in early 2017. The mysterious illness dubbed ‘Havana syndrome’ spurred numerous theories, ranging from the use of sonic and electromagnetic weapons to an unknown infection and mass hysteria.
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