(News Article): NASA Issues Space Herpes Warning as Virus Reactivates in Astronauts. | Space Discussions and Theories | Forum

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
Guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed sp_TopicIcon
(News Article): NASA Issues Space Herpes Warning as Virus Reactivates in Astronauts.
sp_Related Related Tags
March 18, 2019
10:18 am
Avatar
Richard Daystrom PhD
Livermore, CA.
Member
Members
Level 1
Forum Posts: 637
Member Since:
December 19, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

NASA issues space herpes warning as virus reactivates in astronauts.

The stress on the body of spaceflight is believed to contribute to suppressing the immune system and helping the virus to grow.

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter

Monday 18 March 2019 15:49, UK

NASA has issued a warning about space herpes after a study found the virus was reactivating in crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. According to the agency, while only a small proportion of the astronauts develop symptoms as a result of the dormant virus awakening, it could spell danger for longer spaceflight missions - for instance to Mars.

"NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to micro-gravity and cosmic radiation - not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry," said Dr Satish Mehta.

"This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle," added Dr Mehta, senior author of the paper and academic at the Johnson Space Centre.

The research is published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology and concerns the reactivation of the virus, rather than a new virus which had developed in space.

NASA's thorough medical systems measure the physiological impact of spaceflight by analysing astronauts' saliva, blood, and urine throughout spaceflight.

"During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system," the study found.

"In keeping with this, we find that astronaut's immune cells - particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses - become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after."

Due to this suppression of the immune system, the astronauts' bodies are less able to keep dormant viruses down, allowing them to reactivate.

"To date, 47 out of 89 (53%) astronauts on short space shuttle flights, and 14 out of 23 (61%) on longer ISS missions shed herpes viruses in their saliva or urine samples," reported Dr Mehta.

"These frequencies - as well as the quantity - of viral shedding are markedly higher than in samples from before or after flight, or from matched healthy controls."

"Only six astronauts developed any symptoms due to viral reactivation," said Dr Mehta. "All were minor."

There are eight known herpes virus, including the strain for chickenpox, which once contracted will stay within their hosts' nerve cells for their entire life.

They are mostly kept suppressed by the immune system, but if the immune system itself is suppressed by space exploration, then they could pose a significant risk to astronauts travelling to Mars or beyond

The research found that the longer the spaceflight mission, the more it seemed the viruses were reactivating.

W. O. Belfield, Jr.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles
Most Users Ever Online: 341
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 52
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
greeney2: 10357
bionic: 9871
Lashmar: 5290
tigger: 4577
rath: 4298
DIss0n80r: 4162
sandra: 3859
frrostedman: 3816
Wing-Zero: 3279
Tairaa: 2843
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 2
Members: 25605
Moderators: 0
Admins: 2
Forum Stats:
Groups: 8
Forums: 31
Topics: 9717
Posts: 126126
Newest Members:
Elam blue, SSSniperWolf, AprioriTruth, Wolfor Koadon, Dephanie, IMSAM, Eponymous Anonymous, chrystal, Badams, Rebel Jedi
Administrators: John Greenewald: 687, blackvault: 1777