If you have signs and symptoms of infection of the brain or spinal cord — high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion or sudden muscle weakness — see your doctor right away or go to an urgent care center.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
Take with you a list of the following:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to why you're seeing a doctor
- Key personal information, including recent activities or travel to an area where West Nile virus is prevalent
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
- Questions to ask the doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
For West Nile virus, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What's the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
Dec. 16, 2015
- West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
- Petersen LR. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of West Nile virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
- Petersen LR. Treatment and prevention of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.