Date: 10/04/17

Health plan medical director helps families protect against the flu

October 4, 2017 (Atlanta, Ga.) – The flu season is fast approaching. Since the upcoming season is expected to last through May 2018, there is a large window of opportunity for people to catch the flu .

Anyone can catch the flu, but young children and the elderly are especially at risk for complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 5 to 20 percent of Americans contract the flu each year. There were more than 1,400 hospitalizations due to influenza in Georgia alone last year .

“Simple precautions such as washing your hands, avoiding others who are sick, and covering your face when sneezing or coughing go a long way to reduce the risk of spreading the flu,” said John F. Bradberry, M.D., medical director, Peach State Health Plan.

Dr. Bradberry shares five helpful tips for avoiding the flu virus:

  • Flu Vaccine: A yearly flu vaccine is an important step to help avoid the flu. Individuals six months of age and older should get vaccinated.
  • Good Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water to remove germs. Lather up and scrub for at least 20 seconds, and don’t forget the back of your hands and between your fingers. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Coughing and Sneezing: Cover your face with a tissue or with the shoulder area of your arm rather than with your hand.
  • Avoid Close Contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick with flu-like symptoms. If you are sick, it is better to stay home to help prevent spreading the flu to others. The CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Medications: Most cases of the flu are treated with over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, cough suppressant, and decongestants. In some cases, your physician may prescribe an anti-viral medication.

Peach State Health Plan members can get free flu vaccines through their health coverage. They can get the free vaccine at participating pharmacies, by visiting their primary care physician, or at several Peach State Health Plan health fairs planned throughout Georgia, including events in Warner Robins, Augusta, Gainesville, and Norcross between Sept. 22 and Oct. 14. At the health fairs, members will also be able to speak with Peach State Health Plan experts about other flu prevention strategies.

For more information about Peach State Health Plan, visit

About Peach State Health Plan
Peach State Health Plan is a Care Management Organization that serves the needs of Georgians through a range of health insurance solutions. Peach State Health Plan serves the Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® population in partnership with Georgia Families. The organization also focuses on under-insured and uninsured individuals through its federal insurance marketplace plan, Ambetter, and its Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. Peach State Health Plan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise. For more information visit