Quarantine lifted of Woodlands home; tests negative - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Quarantine lifted of Woodlands home; tests negative

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The Woodlands, Texas----(FOX26)  New information Monday evening, that the all clear has been sounded for a Woodlands home under quarantine because of concerns about the deadly Hantavirus.

Monday evening, in a news conference the Montgomery County Health Department said test results for Hantavirus were negative and the quarantine has been lifted.

Hantavius is a rodent-borne disease responsible for three recent deaths in California.

There were concerns that three people who were helping clean a home on Slash Pine Place, which we're told is filled with debris and rodent urine and feces were exposed to Hantavirus.

An initial test of one woman came back positive and the home was quarantined.

 Because the disease is so rare, the victim has to be tested again at the state lab in order to officially confirm the case. Those results are come back negative on Monday.

The home on Slash Pine Place near the Woodlands sits vacant and dark with apparently a whole boat load of junk and critters inside.

"This particular area, it's an extreme case of rodent infestation. There's evidence of rodents, mice, snakes, possums in and around the home, which is not unusual in a hoarding situation because there's so much material. It's impossible to keep it clean and track the rodent population," said Dr. Mark Escott with the Montgomery County Health Department.

It's that dried rodent urine and feces, that officials believe caused the daughter of the homeowner to test positive for the potentially deadly Hantavirus.

"It's a virus which is spread by rodents, dried feces and urine. That's the source of the infection," said Dr. Escott.

We're told the woman was helping to clean the home, along with a crew of 29 others who were there filming an episode for the Discovery Channel's "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

"The crew that was involved are from out of state, they've been notified, as well as the number of volunteers involved in cleanup," said Dr. Escott.

Dr. Escott says during the cleanup effort, about 200 books were donated to the non-profit organization, "Friends of the Houston Library," with the intent to re-sell. Tonight they issued a statement that says they...

"…reacted immediately and proactively by isolating as many books as possible......none of the books from the recent Woodlands donation have been distributed."

As for nearby residents, they say because the disease is not contagious and that they're not at all concerned.

"If it was a threat, man, people would be getting it because there are rodents everywhere, we live in Southeast Texas. There are rodents in it," said one resident.

"It was a house that was just cluttered and nasty," said another resident.

Going back to 1993, Carrie Williams, the Health Department Community Affairs Director says, "we have had 35 cases in the State of Texas.  We have had none this year and that is very rare."

The average number of cases of Hantavirus is one to two.

Remember, if you notice any signs of rodents in your home you need to contact a pest control company.

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