As stated by the latest study conducted by NASA, space travel might cause the herpes virus to activate among 50 percent crew onboard the Space Shuttle & International Space Station (ISS). This finding might jeopardise the future missions by mankind to Mars or beyond.
However, just a small portion of these people tend to develop symptoms. The study also confirmed that the reactivation rate for these viruses tend to increase with the increase in duration of the spaceflight. This could actually be a warning of future health risks given the future missions.
Overall, the study suggested that 4 from the 8 known viruses for human herpes were detected. This includes varieties that are responsible for genital and oral herpes, shingles, and even chickenpox. These viruses remain for life in the nerve cells of those affected by the same. This also includes EBV and CMV taking permanent residence inside the immune cells of the body during childhood.
In order to study the overall physiological impact from the spaceflight virus infection, the researchers analyzed the urine samples, saliva, and blood that has been collected from the astronauts before the flight, during the flight, and even after the completion of spaceflight.