Mumps is caused because of infection with a virus called mumps virus. There is no cure for mumps; treatment is supportive and includes self care and medications to relieve symptoms such as pain and fever.
Self-Care: Treatment of mumps aims to relieve the symptoms and includes:
- Drink plenty of fluids: Drink plenty of water as this keeps you well hydrated. Water is considered as the best kind of fluid as acidic drinks such as fruit juices and colas can irritate your parotid glands and cause pain. If possible avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Eat light: Parotid glands in mumps can be painful on chewing. Hence foods that don't require a lot of chewing, such as porridge, soup, scrambled eggs may be easy to eat. This is important especially in children who may refuse to eat because of pain. To increase their oral intake, give them foods that don't require a lot of chewing. .
- Cold compresses: Experts recommend applying cold compress on the swollen glands. This reduces pain.
- Take rest: Take plenty of rest until the fever, swelling and pain of salivary gland decreases. It does not shorten the course of illness but makes you feel better (helps to relieve body pain, malaise).
- Anti-viral medications: There are no anti-viral medications that can cure the infection. Medications aim to relieve pain and fever until the body’s immune system manages to control and fight off the infection.
- Pain reliever: You may take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, for pain. Both these medications are useful to relieve fever as well. Adults can take aspirin to relieve pain but children younger than 16 years should not be given aspirin.