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HAVANA SYNDROME

HAVANA SYNDROME

Context:

A member of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William J. Burns’ team experienced symptoms of ‘Havana syndrome’ during the team’s visit to India earlier this month. This is the 1st time an event has been reported in India, at least on record, and diplomatic implications.

Havana Syndrome:

  • It is a mysterious neurological illness, which refers to a set of mental health symptoms that are said to be detected by American intelligence officials and diplomatic missions in various countries.
  • It 1st struck US diplomats and spies in 2016.
  • It is speculated to be caused by microwave strikes, which may result in dizziness, headaches, hearing and memory loss, among other symptoms.
  • As the name suggests, it traces its roots to Cuba.

Symptoms of Havana Syndrome:

  • It usually includes symptoms such as hearing certain sounds in addition to the external noise present, nausea, vertigo and headache, memory loss and problems with balance.

Treatment:

  • According to the American medical website MedicineNet, in the absence of any known medical treatment, alternatives like meditation, breathing exercises and intensive therapy are generally considered to treat patients.

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