(KARE) - The flu season is getting worse, weeks before its usual peak.
Health officials say it's shaping up to be as bad as the 2009 H1N1 outbreak.
Th flu is widespread now in more than two-thirds of the country.
Many came down with the flu over holiday break and now some could be bringing it to work.
Before you head to the doctor for a diagnosis, it's important to know that the flu isn't a head cold.
Dr. Melody Mendiola at Hennepin County Medical Center's Brooklyn Center Clinic said, "Influenza is a high fever, aching in every bone in your body, a little bit of a cough. It really can knock you off your feet for a good four or five days."
Mendiola, who specializes in internal medicine, said patients at the clinic are asking for prescriptions for Tamiflu to shorten their illness.
She said it can help, saying, "It would probably shorten it anywhere from one to three days."