Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Call your doctor if you've recently returned from travel abroad and develop mild symptoms similar to those that occur with yellow fever. If your symptoms are severe, go to an emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number.
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. Your doctor will not be able to confirm yellow fever without a blood test, and may recommend taking steps to reduce the risk of passing a possible contagious illness to others.
- Symptom history. Write down any symptoms you've been experiencing, and for how long.
- Recent exposure to possible sources of infection. Be sure to describe international trips in detail, including the countries you visited and the dates, as well as any contact you may have had with mosquitoes.
- 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. Your doctor will also need to know your vaccination history.
- 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 yellow fever. Don't hesitate to ask more questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
- Do I have yellow fever?
- Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Are treatments available to help me recover?
- How long do you expect a full recovery will take?
- When can I return to work or school?
- Am I at risk of any long-term complications from yellow fever?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
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:
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms seemed to be getting better or worse?
- Did your symptoms briefly get better and then come back?
- Have you recently traveled abroad? Where?
- Were you exposed to mosquitoes while traveling?
- Did you update your vaccinations before traveling?
- Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any medications?
- Monath TP. Yellow fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 20, 2011.
- Yellow fever fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/yellowfever/YF_FactSheet.html. Accessed July 19, 2011.
- Hayes EB. Flaviviruses. In: Long SS. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Revised Reprint. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7020-3468-8..50224-8&isbn=978-0-7020-3468-8&uniqId=267749278-4#4-u1.0-B978-0-7020-3468-8..50224-8. Accessed July 19, 2011.
- Yellow fever frequently asked questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/yellowfever/YF_FAQ.html. Accessed July 19, 2011.
- Yellow fever vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/YellowFever/vaccine/index.html. Accessed July 19, 2011.
- Insect repellent use and safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm. Accessed July 19, 2011.
- Vaccinations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/content/vaccinations.aspx. Accessed July 20, 2011.
- Possible side-effects from vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#yf. Accessed July 20, 2011.