HOT BLAST: If you go to outer space, don't get sick
Jan 28, 2014 | 1257 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cover your mouth when you sneeze, please. (AP Photo/NASA)
Cover your mouth when you sneeze, please. (AP Photo/NASA)
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We might imagine the cold void of outer space wouldn't be so bad for the human immune system. Wrong. To wit:

2012 study found that of 106 flights and 742 crewmembers, there were 29 cases of infectious diseases being transmitted aboard spacecraft. The illnesses ranged from head colds to fungal infections to gastroenteritis. Note that there is no bedrest with chicken noodle soup and Netflix available on a multi-million dollar space mission. ...

A study out this week examining space-born Drosophila flies—often studied because of the similarity between the flies’ immune systems and that of humans—found that in the case of fungal infections, microgravity effectively nullified the immune response. 

Dr. Leonard Mermel of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital notes:

“I’ve been involved for two decades with trying to prevent infections in the intensive care unit and general hospital settings and I’ve been involved with national and international guidelines, but there are a lot of constraints in space I had never thought of before." 

(Hat tip: The Dish.) 
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