UTICA, N.Y. -- The increase in flu cases this year, coupled with fears of catching the coronavirus, has left some local stores and pharmacies struggling to keep face masks in stock.
Parkway Drugs on Albany Street in Utica hasn’t had masks in stock for more than a week because of the demand. Pharmacist Anthony Chiffy says he's not sure when more will be back on the shelves.
“The flu comes about obviously once a year, we're usually able to keep up with the masks as needed; but this year, it’s a little unique that we're out of it for such a long period of time. It’s probably a more heightened awareness of the flu this year due to the coronavirus, people are very concerned and want to protect themselves," said Chiffy.
Masks aren't the only way to hinder the spread of viruses like the flu. They can also be prevented by frequent hand washing, and avoiding contact with people who are already sick.