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A member of the Cuban army fumigates against mosquitoes after the Zika virus outbreak in 2016. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. suggested an "acoustic attack" in Cuba made U.S. staff sick in 2016, but a new report from Canada shows the attack may have been a mosquito repellant from Cuba's war on the Zika virus, reports Reuters.

Why this matters: Cuba denied attacking the U.S. embassy staff, but it still led to increased tensions between the 2 countries, per BBC. It prompted the U.S. to reduce its embassy staff to a minimum, writes Reuters.

What the Canadian report says: The researchers examined Canadian embassy staff who experienced similar symptoms to the Americans.

  • The neurotoxins from mosquito fumigation likely caused the headaches, blurred vision, dizziness and tinnitus people were experiencing, according to BBC.
  • The researchers believe the "low, consistent doses" are similar to exposure from commercial pesticides.
  • The diplomats' illnesses corresponded with an increase in fumigation around where they lived, per Reuters.

Yes, but: The researchers said it's difficult to confirm the "definitive cause" at this time, and that their hypothesis offers a "plausible explanation," according to BBC.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
9 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.