‘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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butte... butterflyfreak

I think my mother is heading down the hoarder road! She lives on the other side of the state from me, so I don't see her very often. She has always been the kind of person to "collect" things, so her shelves are full of stuff, coffee mugs, snow globes, S&P shakers, just to name a few of her "collections." Her husband passed away a couple years ago, which I think may have been the final push into hoarder-dom. We were there for a short visit over the summer. We were vacationing on the Oregon Coast, and had my sister's wedding to attend in Gig Harbor, WA. We decided since we had checked out of our lodgings early enough and had a little extra time to get to Gig Harbor, we stopped off in Aberdeen, WA to see my mother. Her bed was covered in boxes (that she had "just put there" when asked) and there was really just a pathway from front door to computer (only a couple feet inside the door) through the kitchen to where it forked, one path to the bathroom and the other path to the back porch. I am really worried about her, because she also had some creepy people staying there (in the motor home in the backyard.) And I worry that she's being taken advantage of.


butte... butterflyfreak

My brother and I are talking about doing an intervention, but he lives in Salt Lake City and has no vehicle and no money for a bus ticket at this time. I want to try and talk to her to see what's going on, but my mother tends to be the kind of person who blows off your concern and it's entirely possible that she doesn't see how creepy these people are!

Deann... Deanna2872

If you want a hoarder to have to face the situation, you can ask the health dept and/or social services to do a welfare check. Sometimes even the police dept will do the check, and then file a report to the proper authorities. The problem with that route, however, is being placed 'in the system'. And if the person owns their home, they may lose it. Its not a step I would recommend, unless a person is in serious danger or posing a serious health risk to others.

As for trying to help, and getting sick- you really do have to prepare. In the case of hantavirus, you must air the area out for 24hrs, and create as little dust as possible. Also, regular dust masks are not effective against hantavirus. Lysol is not effective, but a bleach solution sprayed on EVERYTHING is...

So no, I wouldn't recommend heading into a hoarders home with jeans, a tshirt, and gloves to do some cleaning. Research the possible illnesses you could be facing, find out how to avoid getting sick, and go in fully prepared.

The most important thing though, is that someone helps-

nonmember avatar Mkatherine

I have to admit I have hoarding tendencies but not to the point of unlivable conditions I just have bags of things I but piled into my living room! The rest of my house is a clutter but not filthy keep my bathroom and kitchen spotless and my bedroom mostly clean with maybe a laundry basket with clean clothes on the floor besides putting them away! I don't understand how people can get to the point of no return! I know my my problem stems from the fact that I've lost everything I've owned 3 different occasions and I like to feel like I've got something now but when I ask for help from my family because I get so over whelmed with thing they are don't want to help they act like I wanna be this way! I dont have piss or dog feces in my home nor do i have a rodents and roaches but i have a shopping problem! Most people I've talked to dont wanna lives this way they get over whelmed! Don't pass judgement on someone until you know the whole story!

Jenna Altman

Yes i do, and i am very concearned for the wellfare of their children, who play in these conditions daily, and are also contracting rashes frequently, it makes me so sad, because they do not have a choice. Also is this how to teach your next generation how to live and raise their children?

nonmember avatar mattzweck

hazmat suits the works

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