If you're down and out on the couch right now, you're not alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports flu season is off to a strong and early start this year in more than 40 states, including Wisconsin.
Shopko pharmacist Tom Kennedy is on the front lines when it comes to dealing with the sick.
"There's definitely a lot of flu going around," he says.
And Streu's Pharmacy nurse Regina Behnke is seeing the pain.
"It seems to be hitting hard," she says.
Behnke says this year it appears the holiday season triggered the flu season, saying, "Not only did we give Christmas gifts, but we gave each other the flu."
At Shopko in De Pere, staffing is above normal with two pharmacists and six assistants working each shift.
With a constant stream of customers, they admit they feel the pressure.
"You have a lot of things going on at the same time, and you want to maintain your accuracy and do things the right ways, so we just have to stay focused and do our job the way we know how to do it.," Kennedy says.
But it's not just prescriptions heading out the doors. It's also "a lot of the over-the-counter products to relieve the cough symptoms, the body aches, the headaches," Behnke says.
Perhaps the toughest task for pharmacies right now is trying to keep pace when a full staff isn't possible.
Behnke says, "We are very busy, steadily busy. And we aren't different than any other place in that we do have employees who've been hit and some days we have to work a little harder because we're a little short, too."
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