A Texas woman has potentially been infected with the Hantavirus after exposure while cleaning a house to be used on the TLD reality series "Hoarding: Buried Alive." The virus is spread by exposure to air contaminated with rodent feces or urine, and can cause a potentially fatal pulmonary syndrome. The disease cannot be transmitted from human to human, only through contaminated air by virus-ridden rodent waste. The house is now under quarantine.
According to local health services, the house is the center of "an extreme case of rodent infestation." Mice, snakes, rats and possums are attracted to the home due to the amount of materials in and around it. This presents the chance that if that Hantavirus is present in the home, it could be spread elsewhere by these other animals.
29 other people involved in the cleaning of the home have been warned about the potential risk. If samples from the home come back positive for the Hantavirus, the state and federal health and disease control departments will likely become involved due to the risk to the wider community.
The illness may be spread by rodents, but those rodents were attracted to the home due to the state of the premises. If the disease is present, the homeowners may face numerous personal injury and premises liability claims due to the exposure on their property. Volunteers from the community and employees of the crew may need medical treatment and may suffer due to the illness, and so they may pursue legal action against the homeowners.
Source: KHOU, "Hantavirus From 'Hoarding: Buried Alive' Home: Woman May Have Contracted Virus While Cleaning Houston House," Sep. 10, 2012
- Our firm handles cases of personal injury like those discussed in this post. Visit our Lake Charles premises liability page for more information.