1 Medicine The period between infection with a virus or other microorganism and the onset of symptoms, or between exposure to radiation and the appearance of a cancer.
- It is generally assumed that episodes of brain cancer that appear after latent periods of less than 10 years are merely coincidental associations, not sentinel indicators of causation.
- As with tobacco, there will be a latent period between the onset of smoking and the development of lung damage, cardiovascular disease, or malignant change.
- There is a long latent period of 20-40 years between exposure and disease expression.
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