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Treatment for mumps is focused on relieving symptoms until your body’s immune system fights off the infection. There are currently no medications to treat the mumps virus.

The infection usually passes within a week or two.

In the meantime, these measures may help.

  • Get plenty of bed rest until your symptoms have passed.
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers to relieve any pain.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid acidic drinks such as fruit juice.
  • Apply a warm or cool compress to your swollen glands to help reduce any pain.
  • Eat foods that don't need a lot of chewing. Try soup, mashed potatoes, ice cream, yoghurt or scrambled eggs.

If your symptoms don't improve after 7 days, or suddenly worsen, contact your GP for advice.

Children aged 16 or under should not be given aspirin

Preventing the spread of infection

If you or your child has mumps, it's important to prevent the infection from spreading.

The best way to do this is to:

  • stay away from school, college or work until 5 days after you first developed symptoms
  • wash your hands regularly, using soap and water
  • always use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze
  • throw tissues in the bin immediately after using them

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE.

page last reviewed: 22/04/2020
next review due: 22/04/2023

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This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.