Herpes is in a large family of viruses that cause disease. Its scientific name is Herpesviridae. It is a double stranded DNA virus (all viruses are either DNA OR RNA and are either single or double stranded viruses). This organism causes disease in humans and other animals. The name stems from the greek word herpein "to creep" which refers to it being latent. A latent virus is one that causes an infection and then incorporates itself into your personal cellular DNA. Herpes viruses all share a common structure—all herpesviruses are composed of relatively large double-stranded, linear genome with an icosahedral protein wrapper called the capsid which in turn is wrapped in a lipid or fatty membrane called the envelope. The whole structure is known as the virion. Viruses or "viral particles" don't live very long without being inside a cell. If a virus was put on a dry surface it would more that likely die within the hour. This virion is depicted in the picture to the right is a photograph or electron micrograph of a complete virus in the "free state". All viruses cannot live for very long outside the cell. Once your tissue (mucus membranes of the lips or eyelids etc.) is presented with a virus particle, it tries to attach to a cell in the specific tissue, and upon attachment it transfers its DNA material via membrane fusion, into the cell. It will need to replicate itself, and with Herpes, it will incorporate itself into your DNA and lay dormant, until your next "event" (fever, UV light, extreme cold, stress and other factors that will trigger the next event or infection. During the event the herpes wants to replicate (multiply). After replication of the DNA material using your internal cell mechanism, the virus takes over your protein making structures, inside the cell, to build it own wrapper. After completing replication over and over the host cell physically cannot contain all the particles and will burst. The complete virus particles have a short time to either reinfect another cell or die. The viral particles are found in the clear fluid of the blisters.