You might first visit your primary care doctor because of your symptoms. He or she might refer you to an infectious disease specialist.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what you might expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if you need to do anything in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- 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, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your appointment time. For Q 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? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- What types of side effects can I expect from treatment?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
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- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Do you have symptoms all the time or do they come and go?
- Does anything seem to improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with heart valve problems or had heart surgery?
- Have you been exposed to any barnyard or livestock environments recently?
- Have you come into contact with newborn animals within the past few weeks?
- Do you live near a large farming area?
- Are you pregnant?
- Have you recently traveled abroad?
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Raoult D. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Q fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Raoult D. Treatment and prevention of Q fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 12, 2014.
- Q fever: Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/qfever/symptoms/index.html. Accessed May 15, 2014.
- Georgiev M, et al. Q fever in humans and farm animals in four European countries, 1982 to 2010. European Surveillance. 2013;8:1.
- Q fever: Statistics and epidemiology. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/qfever/stats/index.html. Accessed May 15, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed May 12, 2014.