A Texas woman cleaning out a home for a future episode of TLC's "Hoarding: Buried Alive" developed a respiratory disease that county officials believe has been caused by hantavirus.
The home in the Houston suburb of the Woodlands has been under quarantine since Friday. The homeowner's daughter tested positive for the disease and is now recovering, with medications, after a stay in the hospital, according to ABC News affiliate ABC13. A sheriff's deputy has remained outside the home all weekend to keep everyone a safe distance away.
A second test on the woman by the state health department will determine whether she does in fact have hantavirus, according to ABC13.
Between the cleanup crew and the film crew, as many as 30 people had been in and out of the home over the past two weeks. The producers of the reality series refused to comment on the situation.
Infection with the hantavirus comes from inhaling or ingesting particles of mice droppings, or urine, and has a 40 percent mortality rate.
"Hantavirus is a disease that's carried by rodents, and when you go through processes like cleaning the home, sweeping, vacuuming, that sort of thing, it goes into the air," said Montgomery County Medical Director Dr. Mark Escott.
Escott told ABC13 that neighbors should be on the lookout for rodents.
"The best way to prevent spread of the disease is to control the rodents in the home. If rodents are found in the home, then they need to make sure that they use folks who are licensed to clean homes," said Escott.
"That house was made to order for that kind of thing. There's not any cleaning going on," said neighbor Jim Polito.
This comes after three visitors to Yosemite National Park died from the same virus after staying in infested cabins. More than 10,000 tourists were warned to watch for symptoms. The virus takes one to six weeks to incubate. Flu-like symptoms -- chills, muscle aches, fevers -- initially appear, and the disease progresses rapidly. Within a day or two it can be very difficult to breathe.
- Disease & Medical Conditions
- respiratory disease