The deadly coronavirus outbreak is sparking anti-Asian bigotry, hysteria and violence around the globe as the spread of rumor and misinformation grips people with fear.

On Feb. 4 in Bolivia, three Japanese tourists in their 20s visiting the Uyuni salt flats were quarantined at a local hospital, despite having no history of traveling to China nor exhibiting any symptoms of the pneumonia-causing infection.

After being briefly isolated, the three were released, but the actions of the local authorities demonstrate the pernicious combination of misinformation and panic.