Alberta Health Services has provided an update on the E. coli outbreak that led to the recent closure of 11 Calgary area daycares, including Vik Academy in Okotoks.

Dr. Franco Rizzuti, medical officer of health with AHS, presented a live update yesterday (Sept. 6).

“As of today, AHS is reporting a total of 96 laboratory-confirmed cases linked to this E. coli outbreak with 22 hospitalizations, 16 of which are at Alberta Children’s Hospital, and six at the Peter Lougheed Centre,” says Rizzuti.

“A majority of individuals who get sick from E. coli generally improve on their own and without specific treatment, typically within 10 days. However, a small portion may develop more severe complications. Currently, we have a handful of children who are hospitalized with these more serious illnesses related to this outbreak.”

AHS is investigating the source of the outbreak but has yet to determine a source.

They’ve launched a webpage to provide information on the outbreak, including symptoms to watch for and information on testing.

Rizzuti confirmed that the 11 sites that were closed are to remain closed until the issue is resolved.

Of the 11, six were closed after being directly linked to the outbreak, with the remaining five closed out of an abundance of caution.

The six locations where the outbreak was declared are:

  • Fueling Brains Braeside
  • Fueling Brains West 85th
  • Fueling Brains New Brighton
  • Fueling Brains Centennial
  • Fueling Brains Bridgeland
  • Fueling Brains McKnight

The five additional closures are:

  • Braineer Academy
  • Kidz Space
  • Little Oak Early Education (formerly Mangrove)
  • Almond Branch School
  • Vik Academy in Okotoks

Person-to-person transmission of E. coli is possible, and AHS recommends care be taken with regard to handwashing and food preparation.

“I think it’s really important to stress proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly, vigorously, 20 seconds with warm water and soap, as well as proper cooking of food. That’s going to be the most important piece."


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