Alberta’s health minister, minister of child and family services, the chief medical officer of health and a section chief at Alberta Children’s Hospital will be providing an update on the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak Tuesday morning.
The press conference will be streamed in this story at 9 a.m.
On Sunday, Health Minister Adriana LaGrange and Premier Danielle Smith offered their “thoughts and prayers” to the children and families affected by the outbreak via social media.
On Monday evening, LaGrange and Searle Turton, the child and family services minister, empathized with parents “as a mother and grandmother” and “as a father,” respectively, again via social media posts.
“Rest assured our health care system will be there for the affected families and children every step of the way,” LaGrange wrote.
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Tuesday morning will be the first time LaGrange, Turton, or chief medical officer of health Dr. Mark Joffe will speak publicly since the outbreak was declared.
As of Monday, 231 lab-confirmed cases were linked to the outbreak, with 26 in hospital — 25 kids and an adult – and 21 kids developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe kidney complication. Since the start of the outbreak, 11 patients have been discharged from Calgary hospitals.
A total of 11 Calgary-area daycares were closed “out of an abundance of caution” on Sept. 3. AHS confirmed the outbreak the following day and soon launched an outbreak webpage.
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Last week, Calgary Zone medical officer of health Dr. Franco Rizzuti said AHS inspectors visited all daycares as soon as Sept. 5.
On Monday, four daycares that saw no lab-confirmed cases were allowed to reopen. Today, eight daycares were given the green light to open their doors:
- Fueling Brains Academy Braeside
- Fueling Brains Academy West 85th
- Fueling Brains Academy New Brighton
- Fueling Brains Academy Centennial
- Fueling Brains Academy McKnight
- Kidz Space
- Vik Academy in Okotoks
Anyone who tested positive for E. coli as part of the outbreak requires two negative tests in order to return to the daycares.
AHS said the epidemiology appears to show food distributed from a central kitchen was the likely source of the outbreak. While inspectors have taken samples of all food in that kitchen, the provincial health authority hasn’t been able to identify a food item that was the source and continues to investigate.
A proposed class action statement of claim filed in a Calgary court on Friday said “negligent, unsanitary and unsafe food storage, preparation and handling practices” caused the E. coli infections and outbreak, a claim that hasn’t been tested in court.
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