Dormant Herpes Viruses Reactivate in Astronauts During Spaceflight, New Study Shows | Medicine, Space Exploration –

Latent herpes viruses such as herpes-simplex-1 (HSV-1), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle (10-16 days) and International Space Station (over 180 days) missions, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology. The stress of spaceflight gives viruses a holiday from immune surveillance, putting future deep-space missions in jeopardy. Image credit: NASA. “NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation — not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry,” said study senior author Dr. Satish K. Mehta, ...

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