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Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The State Department announced on Friday it started investigating mysterious health incidents impacting U.S. diplomats, as well as other government employees, in Vienna, Austria, per the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Some of the symptoms resemble "Havana Syndrome," which has been used to describe mysterious brain injuries suffered by embassy staff in Cuba in late 2016 and the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, in early 2017.

  • “In coordination with our partners across the U.S. government, we are vigorously investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents among the U.S. Embassy Vienna community,” the State Department said, per AP. “Any employees who reported a possible UHI received immediate and appropriate attention and care.”
  • New cases are being examined by medical teams within State, as well as the Department of Defense, the CIA and other agencies, per AP.

The big picture: A report commissioned by the State Department last December found radio frequency energy of radiation that includes microwaves likely caused American diplomats to fall ill with neurological symptoms.

  • The report did not attribute blame for the suspected attacks, but it noted there "was significant research in Russia/USSR into the effects of pulsed, rather than continuous wave [radio frequency] exposures."

Of note: American diplomats and other government staffers suffering from such symptoms wrote to the State Department in May to raise concerns that some injured workers were being denied proper care.

Go deeper: Diplomats urge State Department to improve treatment for "Havana Syndrome"

Editor's note: The story has been updated based on reporting about the number of new cases.

Go deeper

Minnesota National Guard to assist with hospital staffing shortages

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on April 19. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced Friday that he'll put the Minnesota National Guard on alert to help ease staffing shortages at hospitals and care facilities due to the rise in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated residents in the state.

Driving the news: Over 400 Minnesota patients are currently waiting for beds to open up at other care centers as hospitals across the state have reported that they're at or close to reaching capacity, AP reports.

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Nov. 19, 2020. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee earlier this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in a closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.