Alberta Premier Orders Probe into Surging E.coli Outbreak in Calgary Daycare Centers

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Premier Danielle Smith of Alberta has called upon both the minister of health and the one responsible for childcare and family services to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the E. coli infection spreading through child care centers in Calgary. In a statement by Alberta Health Services, it was revealed, as of Sunday, that there have been 190 cases laboratory-confirmed in relation to this outbreak, which was astonishingly declared about a week ago.

The figures indicate a significant increase from the 140 cases reported on Friday. There are currently 27 patients undergoing treatment in hospital care, where 20 have been identified as suffering from severe symptoms.

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Premier Smith took to social media to express her concern and request an extensive examination of the situation. She underscored the need to prevent any such events from recurring in the future. She extended her thoughts and prayers to all the children affected by this recent E. coli spread.

In her Sunday post, Smith empathetically reached out to the victimized families, expressing her heartfelt gratitude to all the frontline health care workers laboring relentlessly to nurse the affected children back to health.

The 20 patients considered to be severely ill are said to be stable, receiving appropriate hospital care, according to AHS. It was also revealed that seven patients have been discharged since the onset of the outbreak.

Alberta’s Health Minister, Adriana LaGrange, also took to social media expressing her gratitude to the frontline staff at several the medical facilities dealing with the outbreak. She encouraged those with any concerns to reach the health services hotline at 811 if they or their children start to exhibit symptoms.

Based on the epidemiological data acquired so far, health officials strongly suspect that food from a central kitchen used by the daycares is the main source of this outbreak. However, they have yet to identify a specific food item accountable for it.

As protective measures, closure orders had been issued to 11 facilities, although four of them didn’t have any E.coli positive cases. Public health inspectors have ensured that these four facilities, namely Fueling Brains Bridgeland, Little Oak Early Education, Almond Branch, and Braineer Academy, have initiated appropriate sanitation procedures like cleaning and disinfection.

The central kitchen that caters to the meals of these daycare centers remains under closure.

In an unfortunate revelation by Dr. Stephen Freedman from Alberta Children’s Hospital, this E.coli strain is not the common one but E. coli 0157, which excretes a toxin potentially leading to organ damage.

Nevertheless, the Opposition NDP criticizes Premier Smith and the United Conservative government for the delayed response to the outbreak. They also criticized the lack of communication regarding support for the affected daycares or reassurance to families facing difficult decisions about their children’s return to these facilities.