A woman cleaning a house in Houston, Texas was admitted to an area hospital for treatment and observation after showing signs of a maximum respiratory infection that officials are calling possible hantavirus. The girl have been cleaning the house for a future episode of TLC´s popular reality show “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”
The house in the Woodlands area of Houston is under quarantine, and has been since Friday. A deputy has remained outside the home keeping people in a safe distance from the residence. The girl, who’s now recovering after her short stay in the hospital, had initially tested positive for hantavirus, but health officials said another test will be needed to read the disease, according to ABC News affiliate ABC13.
As many as 30 peopleincluding cleanup and filming crewhad been in and out of the house in the last couple weeks. Film producers declined to comment on the incident.
Hantavirus has already been making headlines after three people have so far died from hantavirus infection after visiting Yosemite National Park between June and August. It is too early to inform when the Houston case relates to the Yosemite infections. But since it can take as much as 6 weeks for symptoms to appear, it is possible the woman acquired herpes elsewhere compared to home in Houston. Still, officials take every precaution.
The virus is carried by rodents and is spread to humans through saliva, urine and feces, and may cause deadly hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disease could be contracted by inhaling dust particles that contain the dried out particles of rodent droppings. Humans can also become infected by touching contaminated surfaces, eating contaminated food or just being bit by an infected rodent. The condition is not transmissible between humans.
Montgomery County Medical Director Dr. Mark Escott said the house offer “an extreme case of rodent infestation” and during cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, etc., you can easily awaken the dust and inhale potential airborne illnesses like hantavirus.
“There’s proof of rodents, mice, snakes, possums around the house, which isn’t unusual in a hoarding situation because there’s so much material,” Escott told MyFoxHouston. “It’s impossible to keep it clean and track the rodent population.”
A state laboratory is now testing samples in the home; if samples return positive for hantavirus, then state nutritionists and, possibly, the CDC, will get involved.
Escott told ABC13 that neighbors round the area should be on the lookout for rodents. “The easiest method to prevent spread of the disease would be to control the rodents in your home. If rodents are located in the home, they need to make sure they use people that are licensed to clean homes,” he added.
“If there have been rodents within this home that potentially had hantavirus that means there are others in the community which are likely carrying the condition,” Escott warned.