Alberta E. Coli Outbreak: Decrease in Hospital Cases, Government Announces Funding

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has reported that the E. coli outbreak linked to several Calgary daycares is still serious, but there has been a decrease in the number of patients requiring hospital care. At a press conference, Dr. Mark Joffe stated that there are now 337 confirmed cases of E. coli, with 12 patients currently receiving hospital care, which is a decrease of eight in the last two days. Out of the 337 cases, ten patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication affecting the kidneys and blood, and six of them are undergoing dialysis at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

There have been 26 cases of secondary transmission reported. Dr. Joffe mentioned that there is one case of E. coli in a child in Calgary who did not attend one of the daycares connected to the shared kitchen identified as the likely source of the outbreak. Although this case may be unrelated, investigations are still ongoing. The kitchen linked to the outbreak will remain closed indefinitely.

To support affected families, the government announced a one-time payment of $2,000 per child. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith stated that information on how to apply for this funding will be available soon. This update follows an open letter sent by parents and families affected by the outbreak, urging the government to take action and support vulnerable citizens.

This E. coli outbreak in Calgary is one of the largest in the country’s history. The press conference marks the first time Premier Danielle Smith has publicly addressed the situation. Alberta Health Services declared the outbreak on September 4.