From severity to location: How to spot a Covid headache? The new NHS symptom explained


From the one painful spot that won’t budge to a whole orchestra of chainsaws inside your head, a headache is far too familiar for many. It’s also the one sign that comes and goes with a variety of health problems. And Covid is no different.

ZOE COVID Symptom Study app has shared that millions of their users report headaches as a symptom of Covid.

Now, after a long-time of lobbying and pressure on the NHS, the health service has expanded its list of main symptoms, adding this sign.

When it comes to a Covid headache, this symptom tends to be one of “the earliest” signs of the virus.

What’s more, it tends to be more “common” than the traditional symptoms, such as loss or change to your sense of taste and smell, according to data from ZOE.

READ MORE: Britons struck down by four illnesses sweeping across UK as nation comes out of hiding

The project shares five signs that could help spot a Covid headache.

The dreaded headache tends to:

  • Be moderately to severely painful
  • Feel like pulsing, pressing or stabbing
  • Occur across both sides of the head (bilateral) rather than in one area
  • Last for more than three days
  • Be resistant to regular painkillers.
  • Regarding the timeframe when you can experience this sign, it tends to appear at the “very start” of the illness.


Although you’re no longer required to self-isolate by law, the NHS still advises staying at home when you have Covid.

“Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of COVID-19,” they write.

The health service recommends getting back to normal activities only once you feel better or don’t have a high temperature.

“Take extra care to avoid close contact with anyone who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19,” they conclude.



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