(THE BLAZE) – The reported number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in California was "grossly inflated," potentially leading policymakers and parents to believe kids were at higher risk from the virus than they actually are, according to two new studies.
"Hospital Pediatrics," a journal of medicine for pediatric care, published two research papers Wednesday that found child hospitalizations for COVID-19 were over-counted by at least 40% in the state, and researchers believe it's likely national numbers were similarly inflated. New York magazine reported commentary from Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleague Amy Beck, an associate professor of pediatrics, that explained the studies' findings.
"Taken together, these studies underscore the importance of clearly distinguishing between children hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 found on universal testing versus those hospitalized for COVID-19 disease," they wrote. The reported hospitalization rates "greatly overestimate the true burden of COVID-19 disease in children." In an interview, Gandhi told New York magazine "there is no reason to think these findings would be exclusive to California. This sort of retrospective chart review will likely reveal the same findings across the country."
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