The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Global Health, will hold a data gathering meeting of its Standing Committee to Advise the US Department of State (DOS) on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies. The standing committee will provide a public forum to review the current medical investigations through presentations by lead scientific researchers closely affiliated with these cases.
Since 2016 there have been reports of unexplained health effects on US Government employees and their families who were working at overseas embassies. While the scientific community is still deciphering the possible causes for these health effects, determining these causes and preventing future cases has remained a pressing DOS priority.
In order to facilitate the Department of State in implementing its responsibility to protect US government employees and their family members overseas, the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has formed a Standing Committee to Advise the US DOS on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies. The standing committee will evaluate current DOS practices for pre- and post-assignment health screening, provide expertise on potential epidemiologic studies, help with characterizing and understanding the current cases of potential trauma, and develop a better understanding of possible causes of these cases and approaches for future incidents whether of an apparent acoustic nature or a different environmental or clinical presentation. The standing committee will also keep DOS abreast of any emerging concerns, interventions, and protective measures as these come available.