Evidence is accumulating to show that a number of viruses have the ability to adapt to man's defense mechanisms and survive in a latent state for what appears to be the life of the human host. Unfortunately, latent viral presence, which may appear clinically benign initially, may manifest itself later as severe and often fatal disease. Some members of the herpes virus family have latent potential and are discussed in detail. Clinical competence would suggest a thorough understanding of these late manifestations of occult viral presence.
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