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Oct 6, 7:10 PM EDT

US: A few visitors to Cuba claim symptoms similar to attacks



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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States has received "a handful of reports" from American citizens who say they've experienced symptoms similar to those in attacks of U.S. government workers in Havana, a State Department official said Friday.

The U.S. isn't vouching for the reports. In a security notice Friday to American citizens, the State Department said Americans who believe they may have symptoms after visiting Cuba should "consult a medical professional."

The United States last week issued a travel warning that urges American travelers to stay away from Cuba. The warning said attacks on government personnel have occurred in Havana hotels and the U.S. can't make sure that Americans who stay at hotels wouldn't be harmed. It also included the most detailed list to date of symptoms the victims have experienced, including hearing, cognitive and sleeping problems.

The State Department said Friday that several Americans who don't work for the government have also reported symptoms after traveling to Cuba that were included in the travel warning. But the U.S. government "cannot verify the claims" or any potential connection to the attacks, said the official, who wasn't authorized to comment by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

In the security warning, the State Department also said it had "imposed limitations" on American government personnel staying at two Havana hotels: Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri.

The Associated Press disclosed last month that the Capri was among the locations where Americans have been attacked. The State Department confirmed that Friday and said that Nacional was another site where attacks occurred.

The U.S. didn't describe in detail the limitations on U.S. government workers staying at those two hotels. Typically, in instances where the State Department is concerned a particular site may be unsafe, U.S. personnel are prohibited from staying there.

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