What Is Havana Syndrome?

The world of espionage and spies is pretty intriguing and exciting. Although most of it is kept under wraps, some incidents and stories do make it out in public domain. Over the years, we have seen several cases where spies have been targeted in ways that look quite like a James Bond movie. Latest reports talk about ‘Havana Syndrome’, which has emerged as a serious threat to US security. For better understanding, here’s a quick look at what is Havana Syndrome and how it can pose a challenge to United States.

What is Havana Syndrome?

In the past, spies and top government officials have been eliminated via various means such as bombs, poison, fabricated accidents, etc. Usually, spy agencies are aware of the tools that might be used against them. But Havana Syndrome is completely different. First, it does not lead to fatalities. It can temporarily cripple an individual by creating symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, memory lapse, etc.

Second, the mystery of Havana Syndrome is yet to be solved. Even though many theories have been suggested, there’s no solid evidence to prove what exactly causes Havana Syndrome. This is a serious matter for US government, as their personnel could be targeted anywhere in the world.

What causes Havana Syndrome?

Experts have come up with a number of probable causes that can lead to Havana Syndrome. The list includes microwaves, ultrasound, and even certain types of pesticides that are difficult to detect in blood samples. It is possible that a rival nation may have developed a technology to temporarily disable a person. It is possible that this technology may eventually be used to kill people.

A contradictory theory is that Havana Syndrome may just be a psychogenic illness. Spies, military personnel and government officials often have to work under stressful conditions. In their subconscious mind, they are also aware of the potential threats they face. All these factors can lead an individual to believe that they have been targeted by a mysterious weapon.

Why it’s called Havana Syndrome?

The first cases occurred in Havana, capital of Cuba. Several diplomatic staff from US and Canada had reported unusual health problems. This is why it was named Havana Syndrome. Since then, Havana Syndrome has been reported in several countries. It includes China, Vietnam, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, Poland, Colombia, Austria, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Should you worry about Havana Syndrome?

Till date, Havana Syndrome has affected only US and Canadian military, diplomatic, investigative and government officials. This clearly shows that US and Canada are the primary targets. Since it remains a mystery, the threat is there for everyone. Imagine if terrorists get their hands on the technique, equipment or machinery being used to create Havana Syndrome. It could become a gun that leaves no trace.

A task force has been set up to unravel the mystery of Havana Syndrome. However, the findings of the investigation will not be made public. Hopefully, a solution will be found to counter the thing that is causing Havana Syndrome. As of now, Havana Syndrome has become a global phenomenon. It has prompted US authorities to declare that no one is safe from Havana Syndrome.

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