2019 Flu Season Preparedness

We all know what the flu is, and I’m sure a few of you have felt the aches and pains associated with this virus. In the 2017-2018 flu season there were 80,000 flu related deaths, which is the highest it’s been in over three decades! To help you get ready for the 2019 flu season we have put together some helpful information for you.

When does flu activity peak in the United States?

The influenza virus to circulate year-round, but it generally peaks between December and February. February tends to see the highest flu activity though.

How will I know if I have the flu?

Influenza is one of those viruses that will make you feel like you’ve gotten hit by a train when you wake up in the morning. You’ll know when you have it. But just in case you want to make sure, here are the symptoms for the influenza virus:

  • Feverish and/or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea

*You don’t have to have all these symptoms to have the flu.

How does the flu spread?

The influenza virus is usually spread when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. When this happens, tiny droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are in the vicinity, thus infecting them.

How can I prevent the flu?

The best thing you can do is to make sure you get the flu vaccine every year! The CDC also recommends that you stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands frequently.

Will the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No, the flu vaccine is a dead virus. But you could develop flu like symptoms for a variety of reasons including:

  • A two-week window: After you get your flu shot it takes about two weeks before it starts to work. If you are infected shortly before or after you may catch the flu.
  • Reaction to the vaccine: Your body may produce protective antibodies that will give you flu like symptoms. This should only last a day or two.
  • Mismatched viruses: Sometimes the flu shot doesn’t match the virus that is going around and, as uncommon as this is, you still have some protection against the virus.

I don’t like shots, are there any other options?

Yes, there sure is! You can either get the vaccine as an injection or a nasal spray! Although there are some things to be aware of when going the nasal spray route;

  • The nasal spray vaccine is only approved for people between the ages of 2 and 49.
  • Not recommended for pregnant women.
  • Not recommended for people with weakened immune systems.
  • Children 2-4 years old who have had wheezing or asthma in the past year.

*Make sure you check with your doctor first.

The flu can’t get worse right?

Wrong! When you get the flu, it weakens your immune system; and if your flu gets worse your body won’t be able to fight off the bacteria. Once the bacteria build up enough, it turns into something incredibly worse… pneumonia.

Here are the 4 stages of Pneumonia:

Consolidation

  • Occurs in the first 24 hours
  • Cellular exudates containing neutrophils, lymphocytes, and fibrin replaces the alveolar air
  • Capillaries in the surrounding alveolar walls become congested
  • The infections spread to the hilum and pleura rapidly
  • Pleurisy occurs
  • Marked by coughing and deep breathing

Red Hepatization

  • Occurs in the 2-3 days after consolidation
  • At this point the consistency of the lungs resembles that of the liver
  • The lungs become hyperemic
  • Alveolar capillaries are engorged with blood
  • Fibrinous exudates fill the alveoli
  • This stage is characterized by the presence of many erythrocytes, neutrophils, desquamated epithelial cells, and fibrin within the alveoli

Grey Hepatization

  • Occurs in the 2-3 days after Red Hepatization
  • This is an avascular stage
  • The lung appears grayish brown to yellow because of fibrinopurulent exudates, disintegration of red cells, and hemosiderin
  • The pressure of the exudates in the alveoli causes compression of the capillaries
  • Leukocytes migrate into the congested alveoli

Resolution

  • This stage is characterized by the “resorption and restoration of the pulmonary architecture”
  • Many macrophages enter the alveolar spaces
  • Phagocytosis of the bacteria-laden leucocytes occurs
  • Consolidation tissue re-aerates, and the fluid infiltrate causes sputum
  • Fibrinous inflammation may extend to and across the pleural space, causing a rub heard by auscultation, and it may lead to resolution or to organization and pleural adhesions

 

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Tis the Holiday season to decorate and be merry! During this time of the year Regency DRT wanted to give some quick tidbits for a safe and merry holiday!

Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.

Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11pm and 7am. (NFPA)

Use battery operated candles.

Candles are the start of almost half of home decoration fires.

Never connect more than three strings of lights.

If more than three strings are connected, it can blow a fuse and possible start a fire.

Protect cords from damage.

To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

Keep trees fresh by watering daily.

Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

Do not overload electrical outlets.

Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires.

Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.

Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may lead to electrocution or start a fire.

Keep combustibles at least three feet from a heat source.

Decorations too close to a heat source was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.

Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

Check decorations for certification labels.

Decorations not bearing a label from an independent laboratory, such as Underwriter Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL), have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

 

Tropical Storm Nestor Expected to Hit Panhandle

Tropical Storm Nestor Expected to Hit Panhandle

The tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon. Tropical Storm Nestor will continue to strengthen and is expected to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle, near Panama City, sometime Saturday morning.

A close up of a map Description automatically generated

(Photo: National Weather Service)

The biggest threat of this storm will be storm surges, with surges of up to 5 feet along the Florida Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Clearwater Beach. There is a Storm Surge Warning in effect for these areas. Winds are forecasted to be strong, with gusts of up to 50mph possible. Tropical storm force winds are likely late Friday night along portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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(Photo: National Weather Service)

Isolated flash flooding in possible through Saturday night. Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in the Florida Panhandle. “Residents should prepare now for the chance of flooding & power disruption,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted Thursday.

 

National Volunteer Week – Giving Back to our Community

Disaster Response Team Gives Back to the Community

This week is known as National Volunteer’s Week. Disaster Response Team’s goal is to better the homes and the community around us. Therefore, volunteering is something that is a core value of our company.

American Red Cross Community Partner

One community project that is near to our hearts is being an American Red Cross Community Partner. As a community partner, our company, closely work with the Central Panhandle American Red Cross throughout the year. Being a restoration company, we see the terrible destruction that a disaster leaves. Therefore, from witnessing the disaster first hand, our company wanted to be able to assist in more ways. The American Red Cross’ mission is to provide compassionate care to those in need.  From the owner volunteering on the board for the American Red Cross, to our marketing director assisting with major fundraising events, and even our office manager is able to use her talents with digital design; our entire team is dedicated to helping the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

American Cancer Society – Making Strides against Breast Cancer

Also, another volunteering project that is important to our company is the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk for the American Cancer Society. Cancer has affected some of our employees and their families. There are many reasons our team takes pride in being a part of this great event. Each year we look forward to raising awareness about breast cancer and fundraising for the programs the American Cancer Society offers those who have cancer. This walk normally is hold at Aaron Bessant Park in Panama City Beach, FL in October.

Bay Humane Society

Our company also likes to support the Bay Humane Society. Disaster Response Team offers a very prepared pet program. Due to fires, floods, and hurricanes, there are many pets who are lost or harmed each year. Many homeowners have plans for their family and their home, but often do not remember to include their pets when planning. Disaster Response Team offers free window clings in the event of an emergency that shows how many pets are in the home. Additionally, we have free pet disaster plans to ensure your pet is prepared in case of a disaster. The disaster plan walks through preparation before a major storm such as a hurricane all the way through if the power is out. We support the Bay Humane Society in their effort to rescue unprepared pets in their mission to find their new forever home.

 National Volunteer Week

As this week comes to a close, our company thought about how much of an impact one company can make. As a result, volunteering our time and efforts, we are able to impact so many lives. We are proud to be able to give to our local community. Futhermore, our company would like to not only thank our staff, but to the places we serve. The American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and Bay Humane Society have given so much time and resources to help the people and pets in Panama City, Panama City Beach, and all of our local community.