In the sense that they are both not replicating quickly, then yes. But otherwise, the two scenarios have very little in common.
Herpesviruses have many different infection states programmed into their DNA. These states include active replication, latency, abortive surveillance, etc. Since the genomes of herpesviruses are huge, they can afford to have multiple states programmed into their DNA.
RNA viruses, on the other hand, have very small genomes and therefore are limited in the types of infection states that they can support:
So how does an RNA virus infection get "stuck" in this dsRNA intermediate state as the infection progresses from acute to persistent? Taking enteroviruses as an example, there are multiple mechanisms:
- The virus encodes a viroporin to raise the intracellular Ca2+ levels to a point where the dsRNA state is thermodynamically stable. (It is normally thermodynamically unstable intracellularly.)
- Due to the inexact binding of the RdRp polymerase to the 5' end of the viral genome, nucleotides at the 5' end of the viral genome are gradually lost over many replication cycles. Up to about 40 nucleotides are lost in this fashion. (If more than 40 nucleotides are lost, then the genome will lose its IRES, which is the only remaining way that a ribosome can bind to the genome to make viral proteins. And a viral genome that can not make proteins can not survive.)
- Now, these first ~40 nucleotides at the 5' end of the viral genome contains secondary ssRNA structures, with one major structure called the "cloverleaf". These ssRNA structures normally prevent the formation of dsRNA at the 5' end of the genome, thermodynamically destabilizing the dsRNA intermediate state. Therefore, the loss over time of the first ~40 nucleotides of the viral genome eliminates these secondary ssRNA structures, further stabilizing the dsRNA intermediate state thermodynamically.
- The viruses also use convoluted membrane structures as part of its replication machinery. These membrane structures can encircle and enclose the dsRNA and associated viral proteins inside "intracellular vesicles", where intracellular enzymes can not attack or degrade them. These "intracellular vesicles" can then be exported out of the cell as "extracellular vesicles", for transport to other cells. (For more information on this process, see Viral Extracellular Vesicles known as ‘Stealth Spheres’)
For more information, see: