30 at risk as reality show home quarantined amid hantavirus fears

By Arturo Garcia
Monday, September 10, 2012 11:51 EDT
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A Houston-area home featured in a reality show is under quarantine while officials determine whether a woman inside has developed a virus with a 40 percent mortality rate.

KTRK-TV reported that the woman, whose mother owns the home, was one of 30 people who were in and out of the home during the taping of an upcoming episode of the TLC program Hoarding: Buried Alive. Officials say she developed a respiratory health disease late last week and quarantined the home just before a clean-up crew was about to rip the carpet out Friday afternoon.

“That could have resulted in significant exposure,” the county’s deputy health authority told The Houston Chronicle.

Producers of the show have not commented on either the quarantine or any potential risk to their personnel.

As of Monday morning, officials are waiting for a second round of tests to determine whether the woman has been infected with hantavirus, which can reportedly be contracted by inhaling dried urine and feces from infected rodents. A local community group, Friends of the Houston Public Library, was also forced to account for thousands of books donated from the home and make sure they were secured, as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 34 recorded cases of hantavirus in Texas between 1993 and June 3 of this year. And ABC News reported that more than 10,000 visitors to Yosemite Park in California were placed on alert after three tourists died from the disease after they stayed in infected cabins.

Monday’s report on the quarantined house by ABC News can be seen below.

Update: According to the Centers for Disease Control, up until June 3 of this year, Texas has actually had 34 recorded cases of hantavirus since it began tracking the disease in 1993. The story has been changed to reflect the CDC’s findings.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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