This will be useful to comprehend the transmission of the disease among children, but it cannot assess the rate of infection, as stated by Dr. Roshni Mathew, the chief author and clinical associate professor of pediatric infectious disease at Stanford.
A Study Suggests There Might Be Over Counting Of Children Admitted In Hospitals With Covid-19
Some experts believe that the result of the research was affected by certain limitations.
These include the small size of the study as compared to other parts of the USA, where the occurrence of Covid-19 was higher.
What the experts believe
Low hospitalization rate due to hesitancy of parents to admit their children fearing it may cause infection, and the low prevalence of flu, as result of general hygiene measure and social distancing adopted within the population.The latest study reveals that the healthcare professionals might be overcounting the number of children admitted in hospitals than the actual numbers.
The overcounting of children admitted with covid is magnifying the crisis since the actual rate of infection among children is lower than adults.
Findings of the research.
The Stanford School of Medicine’s researchers studied the data from the Lucile Packard Children Hospital, Stanford, from May 2020 to February 2021.
The nine months data showed that 117 patients below 18 years of age were admitted to the hospital with positive covid diagnose or multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children.
40% of the 117 covid-19 patients were asymptomatic, as published in the study in the peer-reviewed journal Hospital Pediatrics.
An estimated 45% of the hospitalization cases were likely to be caused by something else other than the covid-19 virus.
It correlates with the previous observations that children are less susceptible to the virus compared to adults, said Dr. Asim Ahmed, who is not associated with any study, but a pediatric infectious disease specialist and senior medical director at Karius, a diagnostic company for infectious disease.
Significance of the study.
According to Dr. Alan Schroeder, the fellow author of the study and clinical professor of the pediatric critical care and pediatric hospital medicine at Stanford, differentiating between children who are positive yet asymptomatic and those admitted for covid-19 was crucial.
Such differentiation will help in a better understanding of the impact of coronavirus among the children.
Schroeder further added that the priority at the moment is to assess the level of illness among the children.
Solely depending on hospital data exaggerates the actual number of hospitalization in children caused by covid-19.
What the statistic says.
Statistics of the study show that mild to moderate covid-19 sickness was observed in 28% of children.
Severe and critical illnesses were observed in 7.7% and 12.8% of the hospitalization cases, respectively.
Whereas 12% of patients were diagnosed with MIS-C, it is related to covid-19, causing inflammation of organs and tissues in the patient.
The researchers who carried out the study suggest that it is a probability that children get admitted with some other symptom or illness and when covid-19 tests are carried out, they test positive.
Although the severity of covid-19 is rare among children, medical experts still recommend vaccination for children as a preventive measure against severe sickness or hospitalization.
In terms of child fatality, 300 deaths have been recorded in the USA, as stated by Dr. John Williams, chief of pediatric infectious disease at Pittsburgh’s UPMC children’s hospital.
According to him, vaccination of children is important to curb the virus’s community transmission and ensure safety for those who have a compromised immunity in them, as vaccines may not show desired response in them.
He further adds that these studies need further analysis and assessment and till then, it should not be assumed that vaccinations are not required for children.