The actual number of US children hospitalized due to COVID-19 may be lower than current figures indicate, according to a study published in Hospital Pediatrics, which suggests that counts of hospitalized children who test positive for COVID-19 may include those who were admitted for other reasons and have no COVID symptoms. Researchers analyzed COVID-19 data from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford between May 10, 2020 and February 10, 2021. They found that 117 children either tested positive for the virus or were hospitalized for MIS-C. Of the 117 patients, 39% had asymptomatic COVID-19, 28% had mild to moderate illness, about 8% had severe illness, roughly 13% had critical illness, and 12% had MIS-C. Patients with mild to moderate illness did not require supplemental oxygen, those with severe illness needed oxygen but not ventilation, and those with critical illness needed ventilation and may have had sepsis or multi-organ failure. Of the 117 patients, approximately one-half (53) were admitted to the hospital for reasons unrelated to the virus, the researchers found. “It’s really important that we distinguish between children who are hospitalized with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and those hospitalized for COVID-19 disease,” said a study co-author in a news release. “Our goal is to make sure we have accurate data on how sick children are getting. If we rely on hospitals’ positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, we are inflating by about two-fold the actual risk of hospitalization from the disease in kids.”