Hantavirus Cleared As Culprit Of Illness In Case Of Home Featured On 'Hoarders'

Here’s the thing about a link — it can tenuous and ended up breaking. Which is a good thing for a Texas woman whose illness was linked to a rodent-borne disease currently causing a health headache for Yosemite National park after she worked on cleaning up a home for the TV show Hoarders: Buried Alive. In her case, it turns out she’s tested negative for hantavirus. Whew.

Health officials have ruled out the disease after testing three different samples from people who were in the home, all of which came back negative, reports ABC 13 News.

The quarantine on the house that was imposed last Friday over fears that hantavirus was hiding out there was lifted yesterday afternoon. The woman had exhibited symptoms that are a lot like the virus — which are said to be flu-like when they show up — so health officials wanted to be very, very sure that’s not what it was. At that time, she tested positive for the virus through a blood test at the local level, so these state test results are reassuring.

A health official called that earlier result a “false positive” and that the state tests proved all three people were clear of hantavirus. It’s unclear what made the woman ill in the first place.

“The testing process is a bit unchartered territory and it’s constantly being revised based on what we find out from situations like this. There’s a reference range for the test, which below the range is negative and above the range is positive. We send that test, the confirmation to the state lab, or the reference lab, to determine if it’s a ‘true positive’ or a ‘false positive.’ In this situation, that reference lab as come back as a false positive,” the official said.

The hantavirus is not contagious between humans, and can only be contracted by breathing in the feces and urine of infected rodents. Three people who visited Yosemite this summer have been killed by the virus and eight have fallen sick, triggering a worldwide alert for anyone who was at the park in the last three months.

Hantavirus test results negative for woman at Montgomery Co. home [ABC 13]


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  1. DuckNCover says:

    “It’s unclear what made the woman ill in the first place.”

    Can’t it just be, you know, the flu?

    • catskyfire says:

      I was thinking more likely allergic reaction to a lot of crap…the kind found in hoarder house.

    • who? says:

      Not unless she was travelling to someplace where other people had the flu. Not very likely this time of year unless she’d been spending time in the southern hemisphere.

  2. Kahlidan says:

    “It can tenuous and ended up breaking.”
    “The testing process is a bit unchartered territory…”

    • Pants O Doom says:

      You know you really don’t need fair portion of words get your meaning across, right? And that people make mistakes?

  3. HogwartsProfessor says:

    It very well could have been a reaction to something in the house. All that dirt, dust, animal waste, garbage juice, etc. can cause respiratory irritation and make you feel like crap.

    On this week’s Hoarders (A&E), Matt the cleanup specialist tried to spend the night alone inside one of the houses–a really bad one–and he was completely unable to do it. He said it smelled so bad it was unbelievable, and once the lights went out, you could HEAR rats squeaking on the tape. He bailed.

    • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

      Is that what that was? I saw a picture taken with night-vision of his head and a pile of literal crap next to his face and wondered what they were trying to say. Ew.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I don’t have a DVR anymore and I stopped watching Hoarders. I miss it, but I think it’s a net benefit to my mental health.

  4. LogicalOne says:

    For the last time!!!: It’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” not “Hoarders: Buried Alive.”