Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you experience signs and symptoms of a severe West Nile virus infection — such as a high fever, a severe headache, a stiff neck, disorientation or sudden muscle weakness — see your doctor right away or go to an urgent care center. If you're seriously ill, you may need to be hospitalized.

What you can do

Make a list to take with you that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
  • A record of your recent activities or travel to an area where West Nile virus is prevalent
  • Information about your past medical problems
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

What to expect from your doctor

In addition to listening to your description of symptoms, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor will also take into account whether it's mosquito season and whether he or she has seen other cases of West Nile virus infection recently.

Your doctor may take blood samples to be analyzed for West Nile virus antibodies. If necessary, your doctor may send you to a hospital for supportive therapy.

Dec. 18, 2012