There are currently no anti-viral medications that can be used to treat mumps. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms until your body's immune system manages to fight off the infection.
These self-care techniques can help:
- get plenty of bed rest until your symptoms have passed
- over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can relieve pain (children aged 16 or under should not be given aspirin)
- drink plenty of fluids, but avoid acidic drinks such as fruit juice as these can irritate your parotid glands water is usually the best fluid to drink
- applying a cold compress to your swollen glands can help to reduce the pain
- eat foods that don't require a lot of chewing, such as soup, mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
You should see your doctor, or take your child to the doctor, if you suspect mumps. It's a notifiable disease which means the Australian Government monitors cases to ensure public health safety. It's very important to see a doctor if, in addition to swollen glands, you or your child:
- Has a stomach ache and is being sick
- if male, there is evidence of swollen, tender testes
- complains of a severe headache
- becomes drowsy
- starts vomiting and can't stand bright light
- has a rash of small purple or red spots or bruises.
If your symptoms don't improve after seven days, or they suddenly worsen, contact your doctor for further advice.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: August 2017