Kamala Harris faces delayed trip over Havana Syndrome case in Hanoi

US Vice-President Kamala Harris‘s flight to Vietnam was delayed by several hours due to a Havana syndrome case in Hanoi.

According to CBS News, the vice president was in Singapore ahead of her visit to Vietnam at the time of the incident in Hanoi. The break out of the syndrome in the Vietnamese capital is similar to previous incidents of Havana syndrome reported elsewhere, and it is still unclear who was affected.

The US State Department released a statement that stated that Kamala Harris’ departure from Singapore to Hanoi was delayed due to the reports of a “possible anomalous health incident” there.

The state department also added that “after careful assessment“, Harris and her delegation decided to continue their trip to Hanoi, where she has now arrived.

A senior official quoted by CBS News said that at least one official had to be medically evacuated over the weekend. He added that the incident is not the first case of Havana syndrome reported in Vietnam.

What is Havana Syndrome?

Havana syndrome is a set of various medical symptoms that first affected US intelligence officers and embassy staffers stationed in Havana.

These symptoms have been described as brain fog, migraines, nausea and even permanent brain damage after hearing “strange sounds”, including a loud clicking noise or feeling a sensation of pressure.

Many explanations have come up, trying to detect the cause of the illness. Some doctors believe that the symptoms are linked to the use of high-frequency spy equipment, while others have placed the blame on stress or even mass paranoia.

The first cases of the syndrome were recorded in 2016 at the US embassy in Havana. Politico had reported that an intelligence agent suffered ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and feeling “cognitively not perfect”. The news outlet also reported that Dr Michael Hoffer, an ear, nose, and throat expert from the University of Miami in Florida, examined the patients with these “symptoms” and said they had inner-ear damage, which a directed energy device could have caused.

Also, during the Trump administration, a probe on the condition found more than a dozen instances reported since 2016.

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