WASHINGTON (CIRCA via MOBIUS.LAB) — Astronauts are facing a herpes outbreak in space.
NASA just released a warning based on a study about space herpes flare-ups.
Astronauts face a suppressed immune system from exposure to G-forces, radiation and microgravity. The research found that the stress hormones released during spaceflight, coupled with the mental stresses of confinement, isolation from family and a disrupted circadian rhythm, are the perfect storm for stimulating the virus.
Saliva, urine, and blood collected for medical monitoring during spaceflights found shedding of the virus.
There are many strains of herpes viruses, such as chicken pox. So far, eight strains have been found among astronauts.
This affects only a small percentage of astronauts. Scientists believe longer space trips cause a weaker immune system.
A trip to Mars might have to wait until science can super-boost immune systems.