Tests show that dormant herpes viruses are reactivated in more than half of astronauts traveling on the space shuttle and the International Space Station, according to a new NASA study, a cosmic agency that says spacecraft may pose problems for deep space missions. "During space flights there is an increase in stress hormone secretion such as cortisol and adrenaline, known to suppress the immune system," said study author Satish Mehta, a researcher at the Johnson Space Center. "Accordingly, 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 thereafter."
The study published last month in the journal Borders in Microbiology Mehta and colleagues found that astronauts are throwing more herpes viruses into their urine and saliva than before or after the space travel. The culprit, they suspect, is just the stress of space flights. "NASA astronauts last for weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation ̵
"This physical challenge is complicated by more familiar stressors such as social separation, retention, and a changed sleep-wake cycle."
Fortunately, the symptoms are relatively rare. Of the 89 astronauts surveyed by the team, only six had herpes breakthroughs in space, according to the newspaper, about seven percent. the phenomenon can pose a challenge for deep space travel.
"While only a small part develops symptoms, the rate of reactivation of the virus increases with the duration of space flights and may represent a significant health risk for missions to and out of Mars," the press release said. 19659003] This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.