The treatment for mumps is mainly focused on relieving the symptoms until the immune system of the body can fight off the infection. At the present, there are no available medications that can treat the mumps virus.
In most cases, the infection typically passes within 1-2 weeks. For the time being, there are several measures that can help:
- Encourage the individual to get plenty of rest until the symptoms subsides.
- Encourage to drink plenty of fluids but avoid the acidic types such as fruit juices since these can irritate the parotid glands. Water is the ideal fluid to drink.
- Provide over-the-counter pain medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce any pain. Just remember not to provide children aged 16 and below with aspirin.
- Apply a warm or cool compress over the swollen glands to help reduce any discomfort or pain.
- Encourage the individual to consume foods that do not require a lot of chewing such as mashed potatoes, soup and scrambled eggs.
In case the symptoms do not seem to improve after 7 days or suddenly worsen, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor for further assessment.
How to prevent the spread of infection
If a child or individual has mumps, it is vital to prevent the spread of infection such as the following:
- Avoid work or school for 5 days after the initial manifestation of the symptoms
- Always use a tissue to cover the nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing and properly dispose after.
- Regularly wash hands using water and soap.
What are the common complications of mumps?
The swelling and pain in the testicles affects some males who develop mumps after puberty. Take note that the swelling is typically abrupt and affects only one testicle. In most cases, the testicle might also feel tender and warm.
The swelling of the testicle typically starts 4-8 days after the swelling of the parotid gland. Occasionally, the swelling can occur for up to 6 weeks after the swelling of the glands. The pain can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. In addition, applying a warm or cold compress on the testicle as well as wearing supportive underwear can also help minimize any pain.
Some women who develop mumps after adolescence might end up with inflammation of the ovaries that can cause fever, abdominal pain in the lower region and feeling of being sick. These typically subside the moment the body got rid of the underlying infection.
When it comes to viral meningitis, it can occur if the mumps virus spreads to the exterior protective layer of the brain. Unlike with the bacterial type, viral meningitis causes mild, flu-like symptoms and the risk for serious complications is low. Symptoms such as headaches, light sensitivity and neck stiffness typically pass within 14 days.