June 16th, 2024

Alberta Health Services declares end of Calgary E. coli outbreak after eight weeks

By The Canadian Press on October 31, 2023.

A daycare at the centre of an E. coli outbreak at several daycares is seen in Calgary, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. Alberta Health Services says an E. coli outbreak that infected hundreds at numerous Calgary daycares is officially over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Alberta Health Services says an E. coli outbreak that infected hundreds of children at numerous Calgary daycares is over.

The health authority says in an update on its website that the final three affected sites came off outbreak status last week and there are no children left in hospital.

The outbreak, which was declared on Sept. 4, was linked to a central kitchen used by the daycares.

Alberta Health Services says in the update that the kitchen remains closed.

Health officials have previously said that meat loaf and vegan loaf meals served for lunch Aug. 29 most likely contained the E. coli bacteria that led to the initial infections.

The health authority says in its update that there have been 446 E. coli cases connected to the outbreak – including 356 that have been lab confirmed and another 90 probable cases.

Another 32 secondary cases have been linked.

Thirty-eight children and one adult were hospitalized with E. coli. Twenty-three of those patients were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome and eight required dialysis, the update noted.

Alberta Health Services said no patients remain in hospital and there were no deaths.

It said a total of 1,581 children connected to the outbreak have been cleared to return to daycare.

Officials said there are some children who are still not allowed to return to daycare and continue to have their lab results monitored.

“While the outbreak has been declared over, much work continues, including supporting those individuals who continue to have E. coli positive stools and further work regarding the source investigation,” said the update from Alberta Health Services.

“AHS acknowledges that a large number of families and individuals was impacted by this outbreak, and our teams continue to support them in their recoveries. We are also extremely grateful to the physicians and front line health-care workers who provided incredible care to these patients during this challenging time.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.

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