The Varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults.

It appears after the initial infection, it can go dormant in the nerve, and reactivate itself decades later.

My question is: What is the name of the property of viruses that can go dormant in the host for 30 years?

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean with property? The place, where these viruses hide? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


As far as I know dormancy in viruses like the above stated chicken pox virus is known as virus latency which wikipedia defines as:

The ability of a pathogenic virus to lie dormant (latent) within a cell, denoted as the lysogenic part of the viral life cycle.


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