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
References
  1. West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  2. Petersen LR. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of West Nile virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  3. Petersen LR. Treatment and prevention of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.