How are mumps treated?
If you or your child has mumps, the only thing to do is let the infection run its course. In the meantime, you can take some steps to relieve discomfort:
- Place ice or heat packs on swollen cheeks.
- Take acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) for pain or ibuprofen (brand names: Advil, Motrin) for pain and swelling. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers 18 years of age or younger because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Reye's syndrome is a serious illness that can lead to death.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing.
- Avoid acidic foods or foods that make your mouth water, such as citrus fruits.
- Gargle with warm salt water several times a day.
- Try popsicles to soothe your throat.
- If the testicles are swollen, support the scrotum with an athletic supporter. Ice packs may help reduce pain. Long-term problems, such as sterility (not being able to have children), are very rare.
- Try to avoid public places and close contact for at least 5 days after symptoms appear. This is the period of time during which you are the most contagious.
Usually, people who have the mumps once become immune to it for life and can’t get it again.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff