Municipal and county-wide efforts to combat the spread of influenza are being introduced, and particular attention is being paid to the H1N1 virus.

Vaccination for the seasonal flu is now available through the Cook County Department of Public Health. Elderly, young children, pregnant women and individuals with certain health conditions are particularly at risk, according to a statement from the county. In Forest Park, the Howard Mohr Community Center, 7640 Jackson, is partnering with the county health department to provide vaccinations for the seasonal flu virus.

As for the H1N1 virus, the county is working with federal agencies to provide public information and, ultimately vaccination. As of Oct. 2, four county residents have died of H1N1, and 130 have been hospitalized.

Representatives of the Forest Park Fire Department, public schools and park district met recently to discuss basic precautions to mitigate the spread of influenza this season. At the park, for example, new policies were introduced Oct. 1 to provide sick employees with an incentive to stay home from work, and additional hygienic practices will be encouraged.

For more information on both strains of influenza, visit