Scientists study pesticide link to diplomats’ ‘Havana syndrome’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 04, 2020

Scientists study pesticide link to diplomats’ ‘Havana syndrome’

Cuban scientists are helping investigate whether pesticides caused mysterious health complaints from US and Canadian diplomats in Havana that were originally blamed on sonic attacks, a conference heard.

Dozens of embassy officials and their families first reported in 2016 suffering from what became known as "Havana syndrome," with symptoms including dizziness, fatigue and headaches, as well as hearing and vision complications.

US and Canadian authorities initially suspected an attack using some sort of acoustic weapon, which led to heightened diplomatic tensions between Washington and the Caribbean island nation.

But last year a Canadian study suggested the illnesses may have been caused by a neurotoxin in anti-mosquito spray.

Researchers in Cuba and Canada were now working together to study whether the symptoms mirrored those of people with exposure to pesticides, said Cuban Neuroscience Center director Mitchell Valdes-Sosa.

"We are not denying that a group of diplomats felt badly and were sick," he told AFP on the sidelines of a Havana research conference into the illness.

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