According to a recently released report, diplomats who served in China and Cuba were likely suffering from microwave radiation exposure, says GPB.org. Originally tagged as “Havana” syndrome, those afflicted described experiencing migraines, dizziness, memory loss and other ailments after spending time at the U.S. Embassy in Havana or at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine investigated at the request of the U.S. State Department and cited microwave radiation as the “most plausible” cause of the medical problems.
“The investigation is ongoing, and each possible cause remains speculative,” said the State Department. “The report notes that the ‘constellation of signs and symptoms’ is consistent with the effects of pulsed radiofrequency energy. We would note that ‘consistent with’ is a term of art in medicine and science that allows plausibility but does not assign cause.”
“What we can say is that something real and significant clinically happened to these people,” Dr. David Relman, said in an interview with NPR. Dr. Relman was the Stanford University professor who headed the study. “At least some, if not many, of the signs and symptoms that were reported in these patients can be explained by this particular form of microwave radiation,” he noted.
While the study determined that the ailments were real, they declined to comment on the specific cause or reason for the exposure. Other unnamed sources have pondered whether the microwave radiation was an accidental slip, or a deliberate attempt to injure people or access their electronics. Both Cuba and China have denied any intent to cause harm.
The nineteen experts in neurology, radiology, and electrical engineering who took part in the study did acknowledge some limitations to their research but did agree on microwave radiation as the likely culprit. They also determined that there was no evidence of traumatic brain injury. The report describes common experiences as, “The sudden onset of a perceived loud sound, a sensation of intense pressure or vibration in the head, and pain in the ear or more diffusely in the head. Most individuals reported that the sound or these other sensations seemed to originate from a particular direction and were perceived only when the individual was in a specific physical location. Some also reported sudden onset of tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness, unsteady gait, and visual disturbances.”
“The committee felt that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms, and observations reported by the Department of State employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed, radiofrequency energy,” the report concluded.
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