The space flight “wakes up” the sleeping virus in the human body?

On March 16, 2019, NASA released a new investigation report stating that more than half of the astronauts who worked in spacecraft or space stations lurked the “herpes” virus in their bodies. The virus is reactivated due to environmental stress. This has caused the astronauts’ physical health to be seriously threatened, casting a shadow over the astronauts’ future space exploration mission.

Everyone in the world knows that astronauts are a profession envied by people all over the world. It is not so easy to become an astronaut in space and see the world and the universe in space. As an astronaut, you need to have a high level of dedication, a high level of knowledge, extraordinary work ability, excellent environmental endurance, good psychological quality and healthy physical conditions. Of the 7.4 billion people in the world, less than 500 people have been to space, and it can be said that it is rare.

Because of the important role that astronauts play in space flight, scientists and aerospace researchers have extensive research on astronauts, including astronauts’ work, daily life, and physical condition.

In order to fully grasp the physiological impact of astronauts’ space flight, Dr. Satish Mehta, a researcher at the Johnson Space Center in the United States, and his research team have collected saliva and blood from 112 astronauts before, during and after flight in space. And urine samples were studied. Through research and analysis, they concluded: “Astronauts during the space flight, the secretion of cortisol and adrenaline will increase relatively, thereby suppressing the immune system, and the astronauts’ immune cells will fail during space flight, sometimes even for 60 days. “”

Dr. Mehta and his team also found that 47 of the 89 astronauts performing short-term space missions (53%) had much more herpes virus in the urine and saliva than they did on Earth. Of the 23 astronauts who performed long-term space missions, the number of abnormalities was 14. It can be seen that after the astronauts live in space, the herpes virus that was originally in the “sleeping” state in the human body is easily “awakened”.

So far, Dr. Mehta has detected four of the eight herpes viruses known to humans. These herpes viruses include viruses that are lurking in human nerve cells for life, such as causing oral and genital herpes, chickenpox and ribbons. Herpes, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus. What is herpes? Herpes is a common skin disease caused by herpes simplex virus, mostly invading the junction of the skin and mucous membranes, and long-term latent and recurrent attacks.

The chief culprit in inducing the astronaut herpes virus is environmental stress. During space flight, astronauts not only have to withstand centuries or even several months of cosmic radiation, but also try to adapt to the microgravity environment. Not only that, the psychological pressure of isolation from the world, the disorder of the sleep cycle also affects the astronaut’s body function at all times, causing a huge burden on it.

Long-term space flight and excessive environmental pressure have caused the astronauts to be “awakened” by the sleeping virus, which has caused the astronauts’ physical health to be seriously threatened. However, Dr. Mehta said that although more than half of the herpes buried in the astronauts were “awakened”, there are relatively few astronauts with herpes virus symptoms, among the 89 astronauts involved in the study. Only 6 people developed herpes in space, accounting for about 7% of the total number. Others are not serious.

If an astronaut suffers from herpes during a space flight, his health will be seriously threatened, greatly hindering future missions to Mars. Therefore, protecting the safety of astronauts has become a top priority. To solve the resurgence of astronauts’ space flight herpes virus, only the astronauts are vaccinated, and targeted treatment programs are developed for virus regenerative patients, so as to protect the life safety of astronauts and enable them to perform Mars landing missions in the future.