How to tell Covid from classic festive ailments like hangovers and excess carol singing

Everyone’s worried about catching Covid this winter, but Christmas could be the real culprit if you’re feeling under the weather.

Britain’s been struck down with Omicron – the latest, fast-spreading Covid variant – with symptoms like headache, sneezing, sore throat, fatigue and runny nose giving us grief.

Some even struggle with an upset stomach. But these grim ailments may be the result of a very merry Christmas rather than Covid.

From headache or hangover to upset stomach or indigestion, there’s a festive explanation for each sign of Omicron.

Keep calm, carry on testing and consider the Christmassy causes of these Covid symptoms.

Headache or hangover

Headaches are a real party pooper, holiday season or not. Whether it’s a tight band around your head, a throbbing terror or sharp pain behind your eye, it’s time for a lie down and a good dose of paracetamol.

Covid comes to mind, but what about the four pints you drank last night?

Christmas parties often end with a whopper of a hangover, with symptoms including a headache, nausea and sweating.

Upset stomach or indigestion

There’s nothing worse than an upset stomach during the holiday season – no one wants to spend Christmas on the loo or doubled over with cramps.

But just how high did you pile your Christmas dinner plate?

Heartburn, bloating and sickness can be a sign of indigestion, and a few too many mince pies could be the culprit.

Sneezing or Christmas allergies

Sneezing is a sure sign of a pesky virus in your bloodstream, but there’s plenty of festive offenders to tickle your nose over Christmas.

While Covid is our go-to assumption these days, your sneezing could be an allergy.

Christmas can be a nightmare for allergy sufferers who react to everything from Christmas trees to tinsel, dusty baubles, turkey dinners and even gin!

Sore throat or carol singing

Feeling hoarse? A sore throat could be the result of a nasty infection like Covid.

Gargling salt water and sucking on hard boiled sweets can offer some relief.

But don’t forget all of that carol singing you’ve been doing! Belting out the lyrics to O Come All Ye Faithful can cause that scratchy throat feeling. Make sure you give those singing pipes a rest.

Fatigue or Christmas shopping

When you’re ill, fatigue is a sign that your body is fighting hard against infection. A good kip is the best thing you can do to help your antibodies do their job.

However, clocking up hours of Christmas shopping for friends and family can have the same effect!

Put your feet up this Christmas – you deserve it.

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