Canada recalls families of diplomatic staff from Cuba

Canada recalls families of diplomatic staff from Cuba

The families of Canadian diplomats serving in Cuba have been recalled as some Canadian diplomats and dependents are suffering unexplained brain symptoms, according to the Canada Press Monday.

Canada will designate the Cuban capitol of Havana an "unaccompanied post" after 10 Canadians, including some minors, experienced symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating.

Researchers found some of those affected heard a novel localised sound at the onset of symptoms in their homes or hotel rooms, and many described it as intensely loud, and with a pure and sustained tonality.

A team of specialists from the University of Pennsylvania evaluated 21 U.S. Cuba-based diplomats who suffered similar problems and detailed their preliminary findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The official, who spoke on background, bluntly admitted that nearly a year after the symptoms came to light, the US and Canadian governments appear no closer to discovering the cause, despite a sizeable investigation by police and diplomatic officials in both countries, aided by the Cubans.

The mysterious illnesses were originally believed to be caused by covert sonic attacks.

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Computer scientists at the University of MI said the problems may have been caused by eavesdropping devices and the ultrasonic distortion they produce, which can be harmful.

Questions emerged "more recently" with information from Canadian medical specialists involved in the evaluation of affected diplomats and dependents as well as from United States specialists that "raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury", the ministry said.

They added: Additional research is needed to better understand this.

Canadian officials said the ongoing problems are raising concerns about a new type of acquired brain injury, the cause of which remains unknown.

No tourists appear to have fallen ill and Canadian officials maintain Cuba is safe for holidaymakers.

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