If you or your child has mumps, time and rest are the best treatments. There's little your doctor can do to speed recovery. But you can take some steps to ease pain and discomfort and keep others from becoming infected.
- Rest in bed until the fever goes away.
- Isolate yourself or your child to prevent spreading the disease to others. Someone with mumps is most contagious within the first five days after the onset of signs and symptoms.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) to ease symptoms. Adults may also use aspirin. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.
- Use a warm or cold compress to ease the pain of swollen glands.
- Wear an athletic supporter and use cold compresses to ease the pain of tender testicles.
- Avoid foods that require lots of chewing. Instead, try broth-based soups or soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or cooked oatmeal, for nourishment.
- Avoid sour foods, such as citrus fruits or juices, which stimulate saliva production.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
If your child has mumps, watch for complications. Call your doctor if your child develops:
Oct. 05, 2012
- Fever of 103 F (39 C) or greater
- Trouble eating or drinking
- Confusion or disorientation
- Abdominal pain
- In boys, pain and swelling of the testicles
- Mumps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mumps. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- Mumps. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/topics/mumps/en/. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9124557. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=17051. Accessed June 26, 2012.
- Kutty PK, et al. Guidance for isolation precautions for mumps in the United States: A review of the scientific basis for policy change. Clinical Infectious Disease. 2010;50:1619.
- Mumps vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mumps/default.htm#notvacc. Accessed June 28, 2012.