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

Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 11,031,905 — Total deaths: 523,777 — Total recoveries — 5,834,337Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 2,788,395 — Total deaths: 129,306 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
13 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.