Psychogenic illness

Re.: Diplomats unknown illness (Castanet, Jan. 23)

The article “Diplomats unknown illness” rang a bell with me so I looked it up.

Sure enough, in late 2017 there was a big scare about “sonic attacks” on diplomats in Cuba. The suggestion was that the Cubans were aiming a weapon, transmitting certain sound frequencies that could physically hurt (people) at the various embassies.

Over time, many diplomats, having been told of the suspected attacks, became sick with the suggested symptoms. Lots was made of it but there was no science behind the claims or evidence to back them up.

Since most of the symptoms could only be confirmed subjectively through questioning, there were no physical ways to prove an actual cause.

When all the facts came in, the conclusion was that the diplomats were suffering from a mass psychogenic illness where groups of people under stress, when told they should feel sick, do start to feel sick.

I suspect this is just a leftover from the sonic scare that somebody warmed up and served again.

I suggest a strong round of placebos for any more diplomats who get sick.

Jay Stewart, Kelowna

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