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NASA issues space herpes warning as virus reactivates in astronauts

• https://news.sky.com By Alexander J Martin

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 microgravity 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.

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