(KAIT) - It's the worst flu season in nearly a decade, according to the CDC.
Many people take a zinc supplement to boost immunity and try to prevent sickness, but does it work?
Pharmacist Chris Smith said over-the-counter zinc could help fight the flu when symptoms first start.
"Zinc has some evidence of shortening cold symptoms if it is taken within the first 48 hours of cold symptoms," Smith said. "It can shorten the duration of the cold symptoms for maybe one or two days and the common cold is typically 10 days for most people."
Smith said there's not much evidence that zinc could prevent sickness altogether.
In fact, other medications like lozenges and oral liquid are more effective at fighting the common cold.
As for the flu, experts suggest the number one way of preventing flu-like symptoms is to get the flu shot.