Preparing for your appointment

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
  1. West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  2. Petersen LR. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  3. Petersen LR. Treatment and prevention of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.