You'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider. But you also might be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well-prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information. List your international travel history, with dates and countries visited and medications taken while traveling. Bring a record of your immunizations, including pre-travel vaccinations.
- Make a list of all your medications. Include any vitamins or supplements you take regularly.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out.
For dengue fever, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What treatments are available?
- How long will it be before I'm feeling better?
- Are there any long-term effects of this illness?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Be prepared to answer questions from your doctor, such as:
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- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms better or worse?
- Where have you traveled in the past month?
- Were you bitten by mosquitoes while traveling?
- Have you been in contact recently with anyone who was ill?
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 18, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookId=330. Accessed June 28, 2014.
- Nathan MB, et al. Dengue: Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2009. http://www.who.int/rpc/guidelines/9789241547871/en/. Accessed July 19, 2014.
- Sinha G. Sanofi's dengue vaccine first to complete phase 3. Nature Biotechnology. 2014;32:605.
- Rothman AL. Prevention and treatment of dengue virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 14, 2014.
- Capeding MR, et al. Clinical efficacy and safety of a novel tetravalent dengue vaccine in healthy children in Asia: A phase 3, randomised, observer-masked, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. In press. Accessed July 18, 2014.