JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As we enter the fall season, flu activity is picking up across the United States, including Mississippi.

Flu season typically begins in October and lasts until February. Many doctors are concerned that the 2022 flu season will have a high number of cases.

In the first week of October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported there were 969 cases of Influenza A and 52 cases of Influenza B. These numbers have increased the percentages from 0.49% to 2.5%.

The flu can cause mild to severe illnesses, which could potentially lead to death. Symptoms consists of runny nose, fever, soar throat, cough which can lead to shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, fatigue, and some may experience vomiting or diarrhea.

Dr. Geri Weiland, with the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA), said flu cases could spike with more people around each other this year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would encourage people especially seniors to get those flu vaccines,” said Weiland. “With so many reported deaths with both cases from COVID and flu, these things can’t be taken lightly.”

Weiland said the differences in symptoms between COVID-19 and the flu show not that many differences.

“The good thing is that you can get tested by your local doctor or keep COVID at home test on hand,” said Weiland. “We can try to help to determine which you may have.”

To prevent the spread of the flu, doctors suggest to wear masks, stay away from people if you experience any symptoms, practice proper clean habits, and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.