Health officials in Hong Kong evacuated some residents from an apartment block following concerns two people contracted the coronavirus via the building's piping system.
"As the pipeline that transfers feces is connected to the air pipe, it is very likely for the virus in the feces to be transmitted through the air fan into the toilet," Professor KY Yuen said during an impromptu midnight press conference held Tuesday morning local time.
Health officials have traced at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus to Hong Mei House in Tsing Yi, a small residential island in Hong Kong.
Parts of the building were evacuated while health officials and engineers carried out emergency checks. Professor Yuen said the transmission route is not clear yet, so the evacuation was taken as a precautionary measure to protect the building's residents.
Hong Kong now has 42 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus. Some are believed to have been locally infected, according to Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection.