Reality TV can now give you hantavirus (Update: Or not)
You know those nice, selfless, saintly people on TLC’s Hoarding: Buried Alive, the ones that help their absolutely insane and generally repulsive neighbors clean out 46 years of TV Guides/foot soaking machines/animal carcasses? And you’ve always thought, shit, I would never do that, I must be a selfish asshole? Well, you may well be, but it turns out that you are also smart, because one of the people who cleaned out one of these properties in Texas contracted hantavirus in the process. If you don’t know what hantavirus is, it’s pretty gross — it is generally spread via rodent feces and it involves flu-like symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Oh, and there’s no cure. (No, lying in bed sweating and yelling “goddamn it I can’t believe I helped that vile crazy person dig themselves out from under their own filth” is a way one might respond to hantavirus, but it’s not a cure.)
There was an outbreak of hantavirus this year at Yosemite, too. The more we hear about this hantavirus stuff the more we think we’re just going to stay home and watch TLC from safely outside the television. Fresh air and good deeds are obviously for suckers.
UPDATE: They’re now saying that the hantavirus test returned a false positive, and that the Hoarding cleaner died of something else. Looks like good deeds will still kill you, but not via hantavirus, I guess?