Havana Syndrome Outbreak Surveillance System


Starting in late 2016, U.S. diplomats have reported hearing a strange noise or sensation when spending time in Havana, Cuba.  A number of those individuals experienced symptoms that cannot be explained as resulting from typical, known exposures.  A summary of these experiences was reported in February 2018 in JAMA


  Exposures include:

  • strange noise 

  • baffling sensation like when car windows are open


  Symptoms include:

  • headache

  • difficulty concentrating

  • ear pain

It is possible that other people were exposed or affected in a similar fashion.



In partnership with the Penn Center for Brain Injury and Repair, the Penn Injury Science Center is operating a surveillance system to capture additional reports of individuals being exposed or experiencing similar symptoms that cannot be explained as health events with an understood cause.



If you are a member of the general public and would like to report an exposure, please complete the surveillance system form below.   Your information will be used to track cases and suspected cases in the same way that outbreak reporting and surveillance is conducted for foodborne and waterborne outbreak surveillance.  The goal is to determine the frequency, nature, locations, and impacts of this exposure.  Epidemiologic findings will be published in the academic literature. 


If you are experiencing systems, contact your doctor and seek medical care.  This surveillance system is used for epidemiologic outbreak detection only.  It is not used to connect people with medical care.