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Mumps treatments

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.

Last reviewed: August 2017

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