E. Coli Outbreak in Calgary Daycare Centers Intensifies, Cases Soar to 231


The escalating E. coli outbreak tied to multiple daycare centers in Calgary, has led to the confirmed contagion count intensifying to 231, as revealed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Monday, reporting a dramatic leap of 190 from the previous day’s tally.

In this recent outbreak, of the admittances to the hospital, 26 continue to undergo treatment, most of which are children, with a single adult patient.

In an official statement from AHS, it was underlined that majority of those inflicted by E. coli generally make a recovery within a span of about 10 days, without any specific treatment. On the grim side, a minuscule fraction of these cases might spiral into severe complications.

Drilling down into the severe cases, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS, a critical ailment, has been diagnosed in 21 persons. Dr. Stephen Freedman, an Emergency Physician at Alberta Children’s Hospital explained, “For children whom we perceive to be moving towards or exhibiting symptoms of Hemolytic Urine Syndrome, they are essentially all mandated to be hospitalized.”

Freedman further emphasized that a certain proportion of children need hospitalization, even if they haven’t reached the stage of severe complications due to issues like dehydration, pain or difficulty in drinking.

With the number of confirmed cases growing, some of the daycare centers that had been shuttered under the AHS mandate, have been given permission to resume operations. These centers returning to operation on Monday had not had any instances of E. coli infection associated with them.

Government authorities are attributing the source of outbreak to a central kitchen catering to the 11 daycare centers that were forced to close.

Several institutions including Braineer Academy, Little Oak Early Education, Almond Branch, Fueling Brains Bridgeland, Kidz Space and Vik Academy in Okotoks have seen their closure orders being repealed, following their compliance to AHS stipulations and no recorded E. coli cases pertaining to them.

Hoyt Sangtian, the co-owner of Braineer Academy, spoke about the emotional plunge, with families and institution grappling with the uncertainty arising from the severity of the evolving situation – “quite a roller-coaster ride”.

Even with no E. coli cases traced back to Braineer Academy, they were directed to be closed and ordered to conduct an intensive sanitization of the premises before being deemed safe for the return of children and employees.

In light of the caterer being branded as the likely source of the outbreak, Sangtian shared that the northwest daycare has severed ties with the central kitchen and now only provides pre-packaged, commercially procured snacks alongside food brought by parents for their kids.

Resiliently delving into action following the closure order issued by AHS, Sangtian confirmed vacating their contract with the caterer, further stating, “We haven’t received any response from them. They’re not available.”

There are still five daycare centers in Calgary and Okotoks marked as closed under the AHS order.

The looming outbreak also has Alberta’s health authorities on high alert, with the State’s Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer part of a delegation to provide an update regarding the E. coli situation in Calgary, scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m.


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