Make an appointment with your doctor if you develop signs or symptoms of valley fever and are in or have recently returned from a region where this condition is common.
Here's some information to help you get ready and know what to expect from your doctor.
Information to gather in advance
- Pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make your appointment, ask if there are any restrictions you need to follow in the time leading up to your visit.
- Symptom history. Write down any symptoms you've been experiencing, and for how long.
- Recent exposure to possible sources of infection. Your doctor will be especially interested to know if you have recently traveled, and where.
- Medical history. Make a list of your key medical information, including other conditions for which you're being treated and any medications, vitamins or supplements you're currently taking.
- Questions to ask your doctor. Write down your questions in advance so that you can make the most of your time with your doctor.
The list below suggests questions to raise with your doctor about valley fever. Don't hesitate to ask more questions during your appointment.
- Do I have valley fever?
- Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What treatment approach do you recommend, if any?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- If you're recommending medications, are there any possible side effects?
- When should I schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure I'm recovering as expected?
- How long do you expect a full recovery to take?
- Do I need to follow any restrictions?
- Can I return to work or school?
- Am I at risk of any long-term complications from this condition?
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 talk about in-depth. Your doctor may ask:
Jul. 06, 2012
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms gotten worse over time?
- Have you recently traveled? Where and when?
- Does your work or recreational activities involve spending time in dusty outdoor environments?
- Are you pregnant?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any medications, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs as well as any vitamins and supplements?
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9110670. Accessed March 20, 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00341-9&isbn=978-1-4377-1604-7&sid=1288743076&uniqId=326705730-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00341-9. Accessed March 21, 2012.
- Hage CA, et al. Endemic mycoses: Overlooked causes of community acquired pneumonia. Respiratory Medicine. In press. Accessed March 21, 2012.
- Coccidioidomycosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/coccidioidomycosis/. Accessed March 20, 2012.
- Coccidioidomycosis (San Joaquin fever; valley fever). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious_diseases/fungi/coccidioidomycosis.html. Accessed March 21, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=19953. Accessed March 20, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00012-4--sc0190&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=326705730-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00012-4--sc0190. Accessed March 20, 2012.
- Steckelberg JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 10, 2012.
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