`Unusual' symptoms: Canada recalls diplomat families from Cuba

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Canada recalls diplomats' families from Cuba amid reports of mysterious illness

Cuba has been designated as an "unaccompanied post" by the Canadian government, meaning the families of Canadian diplomats are not permitted to live with the diplomats.

Canada is removing diplomats' family members from its Cuban embassy over a mystery illness - amid fears some could be suffering from a new type of "acquired brain injury".

Canada has a few unaccompanied diplomatic posts, including Kabul and Tripoli.

There are now 15 staff in Havana, and Canada will review whether all the positions are needed, the official said.

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USA diplomats in Cuba began reporting similar mystery symptoms in 2016 and Washington reportedly began investigating the possibility that they had been targeted by ultrasonic devices.

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said at the time that there had been "targeted attacks".

The symptoms appear to have affected only Canadian and American personnel, and there have been no signs travelers could be at risk, the official said.

The mysterious illnesses were originally believed to be caused by covert sonic attacks.

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Air and water have also been tested but no clues were found.

Questions emerged "more recently" with information from Canadian medical specialists involved in the evaluation of affected diplomats and dependents as well as from U.S. specialists that "raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury", the ministry said. "Additional research is needed to better understand this", said a statement issued by the ministry on Monday.

Canadian officials said the ongoing problems are raising concerns about a new type of acquired brain injury, the cause of which remains unknown.

More than million Canadian tourists visit Cuba every year.

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Canada and Cuba continue to have a positive relationship and have been cooperating to find a cause of the problem, the statement said.

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