It is officially flu season and Michigan is already seeing some initial reports of the flu.

Here’s a list of the germiest public places you’ll likely encounter this flu season.

  1. Public restrooms -- this may seem like a no brainer but it's not the toilet that's the germiest, it's the sink.
  2. The mall -- especially food court tables and hand rails. Many times older rags are used to wipe down the table, over and over again, spreading around some of the same germs.
  3. Grocery stores -- think about all the sick people who run in to get cold medicine, chicken noodle soup or orange juice. A study from the University of Arizona found 70-80% of shopping carts had E. coli on them.

The best way to fight colds and flu is to wash your hands several times a day. After the bathroom, before you eat and any time after you've touched surfaces that a lot of other people have touched like door knobs.

Here’s a list of foods that can help keep the flu bug away:

Known to boost immunity. The best way is to chew a clove of it but most of us prefer it cooked in dishes. Just be sure to use at least 2 cloves.

Chicken soup
Seems like an old wives’ tale but the nutrients in it have proven to boost your immunity.

Loaded with Omega 3's. A study out of the University of Michigan found that Omega 3's increase the activity of your white blood cells that fight the flu by eating the bacteria.

Whole grains
Brown rice and oats build up healthy bacteria in your stomach that boost immunity.

Fruits and veggies
Especially grapes and broccoli that have anti-viral properties.

And remember to get that flu shot! The CDC is predicting this to be a particularly hard flu season.

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