Image: Public Domain; Reprinted with Permission of Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Meanwhile, an FDA advisory panel recommends against further testing of microwaves for so-called Havana syndrome.
A mysterious health phenomenon that afflicted visitors to Cuba is not caused by microwaves, at least not according to a newly released report from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
The report reviewed the case of “Microwave sickness in Cuba,” which it referred to as “Exogenous ischemic optic neuropathy,” and provided nine short paragraphs of medical explanation and subsequent analysis of the scientific community’s attempts to explain what caused “Restless Legs Syndrome” type symptoms that resulted in “fabrication and non-investigative research efforts.”
The items most frequently attributed to the cause of the syndrome were fear, pain, and infection, but none of these proved in any way to be true.
According to the state department report, the case “may be best characterised as cognitive behavioral-somatic changes in peripheral skin conductance syndrome, a syndrome characterized by incomplete cleansing, moderate fibrous fibrosis, and non-biologic activation of the skin’s innate neurons. Memory and cognitive deficits also were reported.”
The report further explained that if people experience these symptoms, it “suggests the presence of a novel mechanism responsible for generating, sustaining, and correcting the abnormal sensory responses.”
So, that answers that.
The US-Cuba tensions have generated a strange fascination with this illness, with many media reports featuring people who say they are suffering from the mysterious symptoms.
However, as journalist Laurie Davis has pointed out, many of these stories are fabrications.
Disparities between newspapers’ reports on US–Cuba health crisis Unusual in those [travel] reports: Where reporters state Cuban health system responded when Americans reported problems.
The Cuban condition makes sense only in the extreme description of how the norm is not only praised and upheld but revered and revered.
Journalist Laurie Davis explained how two individuals perpetuated their fictional stories to the Washington Post.
There were few facts, details or information to support the claims. Their stories do not excuse the fact that these lies were masquerading as journalism.
Nicole L. Cortez, a visiting researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Public Health Initiatives, has run the whole story though a crowdsourcing website for journalists called Upstart. She’s noted, “While it is a sad day when we have to ask whether a fabrication can be classified as journalism,” she also added that “this isn’t a story for stories. It was a lie to become a story. Their actions were motivated by the desire to break news. They used us for clicks. And they got away with it.”
And it seems it worked.