Officials: Hantavirus diagnosis was wrong

Published On: Sep 10 2012 04:01:27 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 11 2012 06:41:01 AM CDT
Hantavirus house dark
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -

A woman who was suspected of contracting the potentially deadly hantavirus while inside a home being featured on a reality TV show does not have it, health officials said Monday.

Montgomery County health officials said the woman, along with 29 other people, were inside a home in The Woodlands filming an episode of the Discovery Channel's "Hoarding: Buried Alive."

The airborne disease is spread by rodent droppings. Health officials said disrupting the old, dusty mounds of clutter inside the home could have easily released the virus.

On Monday evening, health officials said the original test the woman received came up with a false positive. Further testing proved she did not have the virus, officials said.

What exactly the woman is suffering from is not yet known, officials said.

Hantavirus typically survives up to three days and symptoms may developĀ  one to six weeks after exposure.

Residents who live by said they aren't worried they could become sick.

"I think everybody has to take precautions to keep (rodents) outside of their house," neighbor Kelly Cohen said. "If you see signs, you have to take action."

The health department had quarantined the home, however now that the test results are negative, the ban has been lifted, officials said.