The mysterious "Havana Syndrome" illness, which some intelligence officials believe might be a microwave attack by foreign actors, has claimed another 20 U.S. diplomatic and intelligence personnel victims abroad since President Joe Biden took office.
About two dozen U.S. intelligence officers, diplomats, and other government officials, in Vienna, Austria, are experiencing symptoms like the brain illnesses experienced by staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, in 2016, New Yorker magazine reported Friday.
The symptoms include hearing high-pitched sounds, steady "pulses of energy" in the head, pain, nausea, dizziness, and several other "bizarre" sensations, the WebMD website said.
The incidents continued around the globe, at a U.S. Consulate in China, a U.S. facility in Russia, as well as other countries in the Middle East, Europe, and even on U.S. soil in Washington, D.C., just miles away from the White House.
So far, officials estimate the number of victims to be more than 130, many of whom report ongoing symptoms and the inability to work, according to the site.
According to the BBC, State Department officials confirmed the New Yorker story Friday and said it was "vigorously investigating" with the help of Austrian officials in its foreign ministry.
That city is currently hosting indirect talks between the United States and Iran about restarting the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal that former President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of.
The number of cases in the Vienna incident are the largest next to the initial reports in Havana, the story said.
A study by the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in December 2020 said the directed pulse radio frequency energy is the likely cause of the syndrome, but also said it could not "rule out" other causes or "mechanisms" because of the variability of the cases involved.
"The committee found these cases quite concerning, in part because of the plausible role of directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy as a mechanism, but also because of the significant suffering and debility that has occurred in some of these individuals," according to Stanford professor David Relman. "We as a nation need to address these specific cases as well as the possibility of future cases with a concerted, coordinated, and comprehensive approach."
The study performed by the non-profit institution was sponsored by the State Department.
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