There has been a significant increase in the number of lab-confirmed cases of E. coli in Calgary, with a total of 348 cases reported by Alberta Health Services. This includes 27 secondary cases, which have increased by four since Saturday. The outbreak is believed to be caused by shiga toxin-producing E. coli, a strain that can lead to serious health issues.
Several children have been hospitalized and are undergoing treatment for hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that affects the kidneys. Although the source of the outbreak is suspected to be a shared kitchen that supplied food to multiple daycares, the exact cause has not been identified.
Nine patients are currently receiving care in hospital, down from 12 on Saturday. All of the hospitalized patients have hemolytic uremic syndrome, and three of them are undergoing dialysis. Alberta Health Services have reported that patients with more severe illness are in stable condition and are responding well to treatment.
The original daycares linked to the shared kitchen have been allowed to reopen, but other schools and daycares in the city have been partially or fully closed due to potential secondary transmission. AHS has issued closure orders for various childcare facilities, including Active Start Country Hills, CanCare Childcare, CEFA Early Learning Calgary South, Renert Junior Kindergarten, VIK Academy, 1st Class Childcare Shawnessy, and Calgary JCC Child Care.
AHS stated that the additional cases affecting these daycare facilities are mostly due to secondary transmission. They suspect that either the new cases had contact with children from the original daycares or children from the original daycares had contact with the affected facilities. Two cases are still under investigation and have not yet been connected.
There are indications that the outbreak related to the initial exposure has peaked, according to AHS. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced a one-time payment for families affected by the outbreak, but clarified that it was intended for the first 11 daycares connected to the outbreak and not those with secondary spread.
Overall, 642 children connected to the outbreak have been cleared to return to daycare facilities. Alberta Health Services continues to monitor the situation closely and provide support and care to those affected.
– Alberta Health Services
– World Petroleum Congress