OSCEOLA COUNTY — People of every age, including those in good health, are at risk of getting the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Central Michigan District Health Department are recommending that everyone, ages 6 months and older, get the flu vaccination this year, especially with COVID-19 circulating in our communities.

This is especially important for those people at high risk for flu complications, such as those with serious health conditions, the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems.

Flu and COVID-19 together have the potential to create a serious medical situation for individuals and could put a lot of strain on the medical system.

Residents in Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon Counties can get a flu shot by making an appointment at one of the local health department branch offices. Staff will also provide information about other vaccines that may be right for you at the time of your visit.

Local pharmacies and doctors’ offices may also be offering the vaccine.

Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, to lessen the severity of flu if you do catch it, and to protect those around you who cannot get the flu shot. As long as flu viruses are circulating, it is not too late to be vaccinated and your local health department encourages all local residents to do so.

Other tips to stay healthy this winter include:

• If you are sick, stay home to avoid getting others sick.

• If you are sick with flu symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without a fever reducing medicine.

• Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or appear ill.

• Wear a face mask when out in public and around others who are not from your household.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are good to use when soap and water are not available.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.

• Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get as much rest as possible.

• People who have symptoms such as a cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, chills, headaches, body aches (possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting), should call their doctor.

• Check with your local health department or medical provider to see if there are other immunizations you need.

For additional information or to make an appointment visit cmdhd.org or call one of the local offices at the numbers listed below:

• Arenac County: (989) 846-6541, option 2;

• Isabella County: (989) 773-5921, option 2;

• Clare County: (989) 539-6731, option 2;

• Osceola County: (231) 832-5532, option 2;

• Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431, option 2;

• Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166, option 2.