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Space travel causes herpes from astronauts

Resting Viruses

Tests show that dormant herpes viruses can reactivate in more than half of the astronauts on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. According to NASA's new investigation, space agency could cause space problems in missions.

"During the space flight, the secretion of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system, is increasing," study author Satish Mehta, a researcher at the Johnson Space Center, said in a press release. "In line with this, we find that astronaut immune cells – especially those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses – become less effective during space flight and sometimes up to 60 days later."

Less Effective

Research published last month In Frontiers in Microbiology Mehta and colleagues found that astronauts excrete more herpes viruses in their urine and saliva than before or after Astronautics. The culprit, they suspect, is just the stress of space travel.

"NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic rays ̵

1; not to mention the extreme G-forces of take-off and reentry," Mehta said in a press release. "This physical challenge is compounded by more well-known stress factors such as social separation, inclusion and a changed sleep-wake cycle."

Small symptoms

Luckily, the symptoms were relatively rare. Of the 89 astronauts the team examined, the newspaper found only six herpes outbreaks in space – a rate of about seven percent.

The virus delivery got worse the longer the astronauts were from Earth, which worried the researchers. The phenomenon could pose a challenge for space travel.

"While only a small proportion of symptoms develop, the reactivation rates of viruses increase with the duration of space flight and could pose a significant health risk for missions to and beyond Mars," the press release said. 19659003] READ MORE: Resting viruses are activated during spaceflight [ Phys.org ]

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