A Houston home that was being prepared for an episode of the TLC show "Hoarding: Buried Alive" is now being quarantined, after a woman cleaning the home contracted what is believed to be hantavirus, according to news reports.
Hantavirus is already in the news for killing three visitors to Yosemite National Park earlier this summer. The virus is carried by rodents and spread to humans via droppings and urine, and can cause the potentially fatal hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can contract hantavirus by breathing air that has been contaminated by the virus-ridden droppings and urine, though it's not transmissible between humans.
Good Morning America reported that the woman who was cleaning the home, located in The Woodlands part of Houston, tested positive for hantavirus, but a second test is needed to confirm it. She was hospitalized after contracting the illness.
"This particular area, it's an extreme case of rodent infestation. There's evidence of rodents, mice, snakes, possums in and around the home, which is not unusual in a hoarding situation because there's so much material," Montgomery County Health Department's Dr. Mark Escott told MyFoxHouston. "It's impossible to keep it clean and track the rodent population."
Currently, a sheriff's deputy is stationed outside of the home, the Houston Chronicle reported. A state laboratory is now testing samples from the home; if it does come back positive for hantavirus, then the state health department and, potentially, the CDC, will get involved.
KHOU.com reported that 29 other people have also been warned about the potential hantavirus risk, as they were also involved in cleaning up the home.
"If there were rodents in this home that potentially had hantavirus that means there are others in the community that are likely carrying the disease," Escott told ABC 13.
For more, watch the video from KHOU.com above.
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