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