London doctor Adam Caputa says Brits should be aware that their hangover might not be what it seems and could really be Omicron – which typically has far subtler symptoms than the Delta variant
A doctor has revealed the key signs that could signal your Christmas hangover is actually a more sinister bout of Omicron Covid.
London GP Dr Adam Caputa explained there is potential for the new variant to be mistaken for a hangover due to its subtler symptoms.
He warned that Brits feeling “knackered” in the morning after a big night out may assume they’re suffering the after effects of booze.
But the signs of Omicron can “all be confused with a hangover”, he explains.
The doctor said: “At this time of year, people are enjoying themselves more than usual, and then one too many and you wake up feeling knackered and you assume it’s just because of the alcohol.”
Omicron symptoms “do seem to be more varied and potentially subtle than Delta”, he said, adding that the mutation can “mimic” a hangover especially during the early stages.
This week officials revealed the most common signs experienced by people infected with Omicron, including fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and a scratchy throat.
But Dr Adam says there are several sure-fire ways of checking whether it’s caused by knocking back one-too-many or the virus.
The main indicator is how long the symptoms last, the doctor explains.
“After 24 hours or so, we would normally expect a hangover to settle and all symptoms to clear – so if this persists, we’re looking at it more likely being an Omicron infection,” he told The Sun.
“If rest and a takeaway and lying on the sofa improve your symptoms,” he adds, “it’s probably not Omicron.”
It’s also important to identify symptoms which are different to those you’d expect from a hangover.
Dr Adam says people should listen to their body to check if it feels different.
And if you notice unusual signs or combinations of indicators, it’s “really prudent” to test and isolate, he adds.
“So if you’re really tired with a headache and you’ve also got a fever and cough, for example, then self isolate and do a PCR,” he explains.
Dr Adam’s comments comes after experts revealed the strain produces symptoms which feel like the common cold.
The doctor said if you experience a fever, cough or loss of taste and smell – all indicators of Omicron – you should self-isolate and take a PCR test.
The time it takes for Omicron symptoms to show after being exposed may be less than with other variants, he said.
So Brits who contract the virus while on a night out may be suffering by the next morning.
He said: “It certainly could make you feel more tired than you usually would, and also we know that hangover headaches can be quite nasty”.
“[A hangover] could initially exacerbate or make symptoms worse, just as a double effect with the virus.”
He urged Brits to be wary and if in doubt, to immediately self-isolate and take a test.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.