A surge in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157 has infected 231 individuals, primarily children, at multiple Calgary daycares, according to Alberta Health Services. Among those affected, 26 are currently hospitalized, including 25 children and one adult, with 21 grappling severe illnesses or hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157, dissimilar to customary E. coli infections, introduces a toxin that poses potential complications. This specific strain of bacteria typically results in diarrhea, which often manifests as bloody.
Symptoms of infections include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting, generally surfacing one to 10 days post-consumption of food tainted with the E. coli bacteria. In more grave instances, fever, bloody stool, and other symptoms have been observed.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a grave complication for those affected by these infections, impairs the blood and kidneys. Children under the age of five are identified as the most susceptible to this complication.
Health investigators assert that the food distributed from a central kitchen to the daycares is highly likely to be the source of this outbreak, basing it on the epidemiology of the current cases.
Dr. Stephen Freedman, an emergency physician at Alberta Children’s Hospital and a professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, expounds the typical course to involve significant abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, with an early onset of dehydration in children. This necessitates vigilant maintenance of their hydration status. Those evolving into or already developed into the hemolytic urine syndrome are essentially hospitalized. Sometimes, even those who haven’t reached that point need hospitalization owing to the dehydration, pain, or their inability to drink.