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Former Valley resident living in China taking steps to prevent coronavirus

Passengers wear masks as they arrive at Manila's international airport, Philippines, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. The government is closely monitoring arrival of passengers as a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China has infected hundreds and caused deaths in that area. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

PHOENIX — A former Valley resident living in China says people in his country aren’t “too hysterical” about the deadly coronavirus, but they are concerned.

Michael Ring, who lives in the province of Sichuan, told KTAR News 92.3 FM he now wears a mask every day and has changed plans to avoid the viral respiratory illness that has sickened hundreds.

“I went on a trip but I cut it short,” he said Thursday.

“I was going to go horseback riding and I decided to avoid that instead simply because of a health advisory I had gotten from a friend to stay away from livestock and wild animals.”

Ring said the precautions he’s taking are similar to those recommended to avoid other illnesses.

“I’ve also noticed that … about two-thirds of actual locals, Chinese people here, are now wearing masks, so I definitely think people are taking this seriously,” he said.

“As far as myself and my friends, we’re wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, washing our hands frequently.”

The outbreak of the viral respiratory illness started last month in the city of Wuhan, about 690 miles east of where Ring lives.

The United States on Friday confirmed its second case of the illness, a woman in the Chicago area. More than 800 people worldwide have been sickened and 26 killed.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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