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Vienna station chief blamed for not taken action against mysterious illness

Vienna Image credit:

An illness which can trigger nausea, memory lapses, migraines and dizziness has been sweeping through Vienna over the past five years.

To date around 200 people have been diagnosed with ‘Havana syndrome’, sparking fears the virus could become global.

The condition is named after the Cuban capital where the first cases were reported among US Embassy officials in 2016.

Since then the illness has affected people in every continent apart from Antarctica.

Today, Friday September 24, The Washington Post revealed the CIA’s Vienna station chief has been blamed for being too slow to take action among intelligence personnel.

The publication said "people familiar with his performance" describe him as insensitive and believe he is sceptical that the illness is genuine.

A number of US personal reported suffering from symptoms, including intelligence officials, diplomats and children of US employees.

It remains unclear what caused Havana syndrome in the first place, some believe it was a knock on effect by a covert sonic device while others, including scientists, say the virus is linked to the sound of crickets.

In 2019 a sociologist and expert in neurodegenerative diseases pointed the blame towards emotional trauma and fear for the symptoms.

Last year a US National Academy of Sciences panel blamed "directed, pulsed radio frequency energy".

When the virus was first detected US officials suspected foul play from the Cubans, but Cuba’s ministry of foreign affairs stated it "has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families".

The Russians are the latest to be blamed for the mysterious illness, but Moscow have strongly denied the accusations.