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Front Page Photo of the Day Log-IN About us January 28, 2007
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Flu Pandemics Have Kept Red Cross Busy Over the Years

Chris Izworski, Disaster Specialist, Tells How to Keep Your Family Safe

January 28, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Visit, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan


  • Club Web Site: New features are being added regularly. This week you'll find the first group of our Rotary Flag Collection. Many more to come. If you need access to the members-only section, click on that button then click on the link to request a password. Visit the site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates:

  • NO PARKING: The parking lot to the West of the Lumber Barons' is private parking. Please use the lot on the East (river) side.

  • International Night Committee holds it's first meeting for this year's event on February 6 at 11:00 at Lumber Barons'.

  • Vocational Days Committee will have met with the school advisors by the time you read this. If you'd still like to get involved, you can send a fax to Ralph Knopp and Griff Acker at 697-2223. The event dates are March 20 and 22.


    Exchange student Guido Gargiullo's parents visited the country recently and the family took trips to New York and Chicago. Guido is moving to his next host family, Keith and Brenda Rowley.

    NEW MEMBERS PROPOSED: Dr. John Ley, retired ophthalmologist, proposed by Al Hicks; and Ron Bloomfield, curator of Bay County Historical Museum, proposed by Eric Jyhla.

    Upcoming Programs (See the official schedule at

  • Jan 30 Hidden Harvest

  • Feb 6 Karolyn Karl, AmeriCorps, on groundwater and pollution prevention.

  • Feb 13 Bay Regional Medical Center, Alice Gerard, President.

  • Feb 20 Girl Scouts, Kerry Allen, Director

  • Feb 27 Lou Anna Simon, President, Michigan State University

    LAST WEEK'S PROGRAM: Chris Izworski, disaster specialist, American Red Cross; programmer Gena Gates.

    What you need to know to protect your family from pandemic influenza was the timely, pertinent topic of the Bay City Rotary Club program last week at Lumber Barons.

    Chris Izworski, introduced by President Gena Gates, was a last minute substitute for City Manager Robert Belleman, who was unable to make his scheduled presentation.

    Izworski gave a history of flu pandemics beginning with the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1919 that killed about 500,000 people worldwide.

    He described a pandemic as an outbreak of disease that spreads rapidly and is transmitted from human-to-human.

    The Asian Flu of 1957-58 killed about 70,000 persons and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-69 took about 36,000 lives, according to Izworski.

    All the pandemics affected infants and the elderly except the Russian Flu in 1977-78 that killed 8,300, all under age 20, he said.

    Red Cross officials are keeping a wary eye on the Avian Flu that has recorded 269 cases and 163 deaths but so far has had no sustained human-to-human transmission. No vaccine is available for this disease, he said, which may be spread by geese and swans coming from Russia.

    What can you do to protect your family from flu?

  • Wash, wash, wash your hands, said the Red Cross official.

  • Cover your mouth when you cough.

  • Keep your hands away from your face.

    The Red Cross recommends keeping a kit in your home with 10 days supply of food and water, medical supplies and other necessities. "Make a plan now to care for your loved ones who may become sick," he said. "Build a culture in your workplace that it's okay to go home if you are sick and determine how to keep the business functioning if key staff can't work."

    Also, ask your child's school what plans are in place to protect children from the inevitable pandemic, he added.

    Stay away from sick people.

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
    respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
    (Contact Dave Via Email at

    More from Dave Rogers

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