‘Hoarding: Buried Alive’ Crew Gets Seriously Ill After Cleaning Filthy House

OMG 16

QuarantinedSeeing Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC never fails to freak me the hell out. I know, some of the people with these tendencies, they don't have family or friends to rely on and help them out. However, I just can't fathom living in a mess of belongings and filth like that. The germs! The possible disease!

Get this: a Houston home that was being prepped for an episode of the show is now quarantined because three women cleaning the space began to feel ill and were thought to have contracted hantavirus. You've heard of the virus, right? It's already making headlines for killing three visitors to Yosemite National Park this summer. Carried by rodents and spread to humans via urine and droppings, hantavirus is often fatal.

I'm sorry, but I don't think any aspect of "entertainment" is worth putting people at such serious risk. Heck, I actually know someone who had hantavirus. Let me tell you, it's absolutely frightening.

First things first, the good news. The three crew members are fine, and are hantavirus-free. Still, though, I wonder how the execs at TLC would have handled that situation. I'm even more curious as to if they see this occurrence as an eye-opener?

My friend who had the disease is a social worker. He had contracted the disease after helping a hoarder clean her house over a five-day period. On life support in the hospital for more than week, my friend, just like these women, was sick because he was trying to help. I understand that someone needs to hep these people, both to clean their environment and on a mental health level. To be real: I'm always surprised we don't hear more about the hoarders themselves getting sick.

However, I think instead of taking advantage of these people for entertainment purposes, it's about time that state health departments and the CDC step in more often. No one's life is worth risking for "good" TV.

Do you know anyone who's a hoarder? Have you ever known someone with hantavirus?


Image via jayneandd/Flickr


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Tracey Plummer

I used to live next door to a hoarder in an apartment. I knew her for years before she said she needed help cleaning up her kitchen because she had a leak and they couldn't get to it to fix it. I said...Sure, I'll help. Turns out, she had had a leak for several years, and her entire kitchen counter and shelves had finally disintigrated, so she had to let the workmen in. There was one small path from the door to the couch, the couch to the kitchen, and the kitchen to the bathroom. The rest of the apartment was filled about six feet high. I went in and she sat on the couch and pointed to where she wanted help cleaning. I was so overwhelmed.....I took about three loads to the dumpster, and about halfway through the first pile I uncovered a dead rat that had apparently died while eating a frog. It was so disgusting, I couldn't do anymore. She was evicted about a month later, and a hazmat team came in and threw everything she owned into a bunch of dumpsters. She had lived there for over twenty years. It was really sad.

nonmember avatar zizzler

Option A) have professionals go in and clean (tv crew or not) Option B) allow hoarder to live in filth, carrying diseases where ever they publicly go and likely spreading infestations to near by homes. And if the sympathy crew goes into a hazmat situation unprepared, they get what they're asking for.

jodie... jodieharp

It's unfair to criticize this as a problem related to the fact that it's part of a tv show.  Hoarding is a problem in and of itself because it leads to unsanitary conditions.  If you volunteer to help clean out the home of a hoarder you have to expect that there's going to be some dangerous stuff and protect yourself appropriately.  

That being said, thankfully I've never known a full blown hoarder, just some untidy folks.  

twili... twilightsbella

Our new was a hoarder. U walk in their trailer all u have is a little path way to walk to the back room & bathroom. They had boxes stacked to the celling that filled up the entire kitchen. U couldnt see the fridge sink nothing. The living room was the same way. I never went past the door i looked in and seen. Even their car was full of crap. They would dumpster dive & bring stuff home & told me they wanted 2 open a thrift store. I was like okay than. U had to see to believe. After they moved we got new neighbors who invited us in. I couldnt believe how big that trailer really was u couldnt tell when it was piled high to the celling with crap.

twili... twilightsbella

*neighbor not new damn phone lol

count... countrygirl670

I am surprised that no one on the crew has gotten sick before this.  If I was the head "organizer" or whatever on that show, everyone would get the $4.00 remodel- a gallon of gas and a match.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Bound to happen....I cannot watch that show. It makes me ill.

nonmember avatar Flambeaux

This doesn't surprise me one bit. When I watch these shows I'm always surprised by the lack of saftey equipment these people have. Very few are wearing masks of any sort or even coveralls.

Stirring up all that garbage, mouse crap and mold *has* to have an impact on a person and their lungs, not to mention that when all that garbage is disturbed, the vermin go running to the neighbor's place. Does the show pay for that too? You would think that business' insurance would require employees and volunteers to wear the proper safety equipment when they have to go into these fully hoarded up places.

craft... craftycatVT

Sometimes hoarders don't want their friends and family to help them out of it. My grandmother is a hoarder and we can no longer even walk into her house anymore as it makes us sick. My family has offered to help her clean it in the past, but she refused. My uncle also offered to bulldoze it and pay for a new trailer or apartment but that was also a no-go. There's just nothing we can do.

Mary Cimino

And how much do you bet they're blaming the family? Hoarders LOVE to blame everyone else for their problems. Hell, it would be nice if my HP would admit that her house is uninhabitable but she swears three kids trashed the house with animal feces. She won't admit she let the house go. Sigh, now if you excuse me I'm going to research how I can the tests for this virus, maybe that'll get her out of her house.

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