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October 25, 1941

Current Comment

JAMA. 1941;117(17):1448. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820430044015

ARMED TRUCE IN THE VIRUS INFECTIONS  For many years it has been known that the virus of herpes simplex may remain latent in the human body for indefinite periods. A state of equilibrium between the host and the virus seems to develop. Fever, trauma and actinic irritation of tissue at mucocutaneous junctions appear in some way to upset the balance so that the latent virus produces its herpetic lesion. Sabin and Ward,1 working at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, have recently demonstrated that the virus of poliomyelitis may likewise be present in active form in the tissues of the monkey without producing progressive manifestions of infection. Passage of the virus from animals in this state of armed truce to other monkeys has given rise to typical paralytic manifestations. Piece by piece the amazing characteristics of viruses are being disclosed. The discovery that certain viruses (the virus of