The U.S. intelligence community has launched a new panel of experts to investigate “Havana Syndrome,” which is an “anomalous health incident” that has affected dozens of U.S. personnel around the world, an intelligence officer told ABC News.
The expert panel brings together senior officers and medical and scientific experts.
Havana syndrome was reported in some cases at the U.S. embassy in Cuba and the federal government still has not reached a conclusion into the cause of the incidents.
However, the officials are investigating more cases at the embassy in Austria’s capital, Vienna, per the State Department, whose spokesperson said Monday that it is “vigorously investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents” among U.S. personnel there.
Austria is now the latest country where cases of Havana syndrome have now been reported.
On Monday, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said the National Security Council is overseeing a government-wide review “to ascertain whether there may be previously unreported incidents that fit a broader pattern and whether they constitute an attack of some kind by a foreign actor.”
Beyond that review, the intelligence community also established the new panel of experts earlier this month — bringing together senior officers from the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and outside scientific and medical experts — to explore the multiple hypotheses into what is causing the “health incidents,” an intelligence official told ABC News.
People believed to have Havana syndrome reported hearing a loud sound and pressure in their heads before experiencing dizziness, unsteady gait, and visual disturbances, according to a 2020 report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS).
The new panel will analyze the findings of a report by the NAS, Engineering, and Medicine last December, according to the official, which concluded that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases, especially in individuals with the distinct early symptoms.”
ABC News said dozens of American officials have been diagnosed with injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, after reporting strange experiences like high-pitched sounds or feelings of pressure or vibration, and debilitating symptoms such as headaches, nausea, cognitive deficits, and impairments in vision, hearing or balancing.
Ned Price, who is a spokesman for the United States Department of State, said, “In coordination with our interagency partners, we are vigorously investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents among the U.S. embassy community there” in Vienna.
A spokesperson for CIA told ABC News that director Bill Burns “is personally engaged with personnel affected by anomalous health incidents and is highly committed to their care and to determining the cause of these incidents,” but declined to provide more details. The article appeared in ABC News.