Exams show that dormant herpes virus reactivate more than half of astronauts traveling to Space Shuttle and International Space stations, according to NASA's new research – a phenomenon that space agency says may pose problems for deep space "During the spaceflight there is an increase in the secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system, "says study author Satish Mehta, a researcher at the Johnson Space Center, in a statement. "Following this, we discovered that astronauts' immune cells – especially those that are suppressing and eliminating viruses – are less effective during spaceflight and sometimes up to 60 days later."
In research published last month in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology Mehta and colleagues saw that astronauts poured more herpes virus into their urine and saliva than in before or after space travel. The culprit, they suspect, is the stress of spaceflight.
"NASA's astronauts remain in the weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation ̵
Symptoms of Symptoms
Fortunately, the symptoms are quite rare. From 89 astronauts the group studied, only six experienced herpes breakouts in space, according to paper – a rate of seven percent.
Viral shedding also worsens longer astronauts are not on the Earth, leading researchers to worry
"While a small proportion develops symptoms, activation rates the virus increases the duration of spaceflight and may show great health risks to Mars missions and more, "reads the statement.  READ MORE: Sleepy viruses are active during spaceflight [ Phys.org ]