MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When you walked outside, you probably noticed the big change in weather Monday morning. Its officially fall, and colder weather means cold and flu season is here.

As the temperature drops across the Mid-South, COVID and flu cases are increasing.

A graph from the Shelby County Health Department shows there has been a major spike in positive COVID cases this fall compared to spring and summer.

Courtesy: Shelby County Health Department

“Normally, infections go up in December and really peak in February,” said Dr. Shirin Mazumder, an infectious disease specialist with Methodist-Le Bonheur. “I think this has to do with virus circulating and the colder weather and people gathering more indoors.”

Dr. Mazumder says despite the increase, overall numbers are actually low this year and tried and true practices still work to stay safe.

“We recommend people wash their hands, cover up coughs and sneezes and if you’re sick yourself, stay home,” she said.

But vaccines are still the ultimate key to staying healthy. This year, Memphians can get the COVID booster, flu shot and RSV vaccine.

Mazumder said after years of surges, she is grateful to see lower COVID and flu cases.

“It’s a great thing for everyone for patients and healthcare providers as well and I’m really grateful we have vaccines,” she said.