New Jersey man living in Hong Kong speaks with News 12 via Skype over coronavirus outbreak

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A man from Colts Neck now living and working in Hong Kong has watched the coronavirus outbreak in Asia unfold first-hand. He spoke with News 12 via Skype Wednesday to share what he's seeing there.

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Anthony Duignan-Cabrera says people living in Hong Kong learned from the SARS epidemic more than 17 years ago, and the changes in personal hygiene they made then never stopped. Since then, they became accustomed to prevent or contain infectious diseases.

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Here's more of what Duignan-Cabrera had to say:

"It's very straight forward. I think there's a lot of overreaction because of the unknown. Washing your hands and not touching your face is the safest way to avoid an infection."
"Always wash your hands. Always carry wet wipes with you. This is a case of basic hygiene and what you yourself are comfortable with."

"Hong Kong learned from the SARS epidemic," Duignan-Cabrera said. "The city changed overnight. If you speak with long-time Hong Kong citizens, they will tell you how people's behavior changed with regards to washing their hands and spitting in public. Things that we take for granted. So the city responded (to COVID-19) based on its collective memory of what happened during the SARS crisis."

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Duignan-Cabrera also said the lessons learned in Hong Kong are the same lessons that can be learned in New Jersey and around the U.S. today. In other words, what we are doing now about hygiene should not stop when this pandemic is over.

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