Coronavirus fears in Mexico see Uber suspend hundreds of accounts

Ride-hailing app Uber over the weekend was forced to suspend some 240 accounts in Mexico after some of its users came into contact with drivers who had been possibly exposed to the new coronavirus. 

An Uber driver gave a ride to at least one person who was infected with coronavirus, Mexico City’s Health Ministry later confirmed, according to Bloomberg. The passenger, of “Chinese origin,” arrived in Mexico City from Los Angeles on Jan. 20, the BBC reported. After spending time in the city, visiting various tourist attractions, museums and shops, he began to feel ill on Jan. 21. He returned to Los Angeles the following day and later tested positive for coronavirus.

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The driver’s accounts and the accounts of those who rode in their cars after the infected passenger were suspended in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.

Some 240 accounts were suspended, officials said.

Some 240 accounts were suspended, officials said. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

To date, Mexico has not confirmed any cases of coronavirus. None of those who were potentially exposed to the virus — including personnel at the hotel where the man stayed —  have developed symptoms in 10 days since contact. Health officials said cases will be watched for 14 days.

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Researchers are still working to understand how the disease spreads. Though human coronaviruses most commonly spread through the air, close contact with an infected person, and touching a surface infected with the virus before touching your face with dirty hands, the novel virus may also transmit through the digestive tract, specifically the fecal-oral route, according to a new report.

Overall, at least 25 countries have reported cases of coronavirus. Currently, the U.S. has confirmed 11 cases —  six in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington state, one in Massachusetts and two in Illinois. No deaths have been reported in the U.S., and the large majority of cases still remain in China.