Hantavirus found in Texas hoarder's home featured on TLC show

A home in The Woodlands Texas that was featured on the TLC show, "Hoarding: Buried Alive."
hantavirus, hoarding, buried alive
A home in The Woodlands Texas that was featured on the TLC show, "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

(CBS/AP) A daughter of a hoarder whose home was featured on a television program has tested positive for hantavirus, health officials said Friday. The home in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands has been placed under quarantine since the positive test of the rodent-borne illness.

The house was recently the scene of the taping of the TLC cable channel's reality program "Hoarding: Buried Alive."Dr. Mark Escott of the Montgomery County Health Department says officials learned Friday that the daughter of the homeowner tested positive for the non-contagious but potentially deadly virus.

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Escott says the woman had fallen ill within the past two weeks and is no longer hospitalized. He says the daughter was among 29 people who cleaned out the cluttered interior of her mother's home.

Humans can be infected with hantavirus by inhaling the virus from rodent urine and feces. It can cause flu-like symptoms and has a 36 percent mortality rate. Even healthy individuals are at risk for the pulmonary infection if exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"There have been times when it has been clean," neighbor Maria Celaya told CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston of the property. "And then six months would go by and those weeds were taller than us."

Hantavirus was thrust into the national spotlight this month after eight visitors of Yosemite National Park have contracted the rodent-borne disease, killing three. Health officials said up to 10,000 visitors of the park's Curry Village may have been exposed to the virus through rat droppings around cabins.

The CDC has more on hantavirus.