Calgary E. coli outbreak: 348 confirmed cases

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The number of E. coli cases connected to a Calgary outbreak centred around daycares has grown by six since Saturday, according to health officials.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said on Monday there are 348 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli and 27 lab-confirmed secondary cases, adding that secondary transmission is “common and expected” in “significant” outbreaks.

As of Monday, nine people were in hospital, down from 12 on Saturday. All of the people in hospital have Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS),  AHS said, including three on dialysis.

“Patients with more severe illness are in stable condition and responding to treatment,” said AHS in a Monday news release.

“As hospital admission and daily numbers of new cases continue to decline, we are seeing clear indications that the outbreak related to the initial exposure has peaked.”

AHS says 642 children connected to the outbreak have been cleared to return to daycare.

As of Monday, there are seven daycare facilities under closure and partial-closure orders:

These closures include:

  • Active Start Country Hills: Dolphin and Starfish preschool classes;

  • CanCare Childcare – Scenic Acres location: Busy Bees, Bumble Bees and Butterflies classrooms;

  • CEFA Early Learning Calgary South: JK 3-1 classroom;

  • Renert Junior Kindergarten: all four Junior K classrooms;

  • Vik Academy: this site was part of the original closures, and Classrooms 3 and 4 are again closed as a precaution pending testing results, and

  • 1st Class Childcare Shawnessy (main daycare area closed).

In addition, AHS says

  • While MTC Daycare site is not being closed, affected children and staff in Promenade and McKenzie classrooms are being notified that they are excluded from attending all childcare facilities until they test negative for E. coli and remain symptom-free; and

  • Calgary JCC Childcare was issued a closure order for its infant and toddler rooms on Sept. 15.

“Initial results suggest these cases affecting additional daycare facilities are mostly cases of secondary transmission,” said AHS.

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