Canadian Daycares Rocked with E. coli Outbreak: Illness Approaching 100
This last weekend, dozens of daycare students from at least eleven different day care facilities, have been presenting to the hospital with E. coli poisoning. Regional health officials are shipping 2000 stool collection kits to local daycares. The daycares are located in Calgary and Alberta Canada. According to Dr. Francesco Rizzuti, a medical officer with the Alberta Health Services of Calgary, at least 22 children have required hospitalization. It remains uncertain if there are cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) at this time, which usually present in about 5 to 10% of child E. coli cases. HUS is particularly dangerous for children, and can lead to kidney failure, a need for a kidney transplant, and a compromised immune system for many years, if not for life. At present, at least 96 victims have been identified.
Dr. Rizzuti noted that the 11 daycares all share the same kitchen facility – and that food prepared at that facility is the likely source. One suspect food is meatloaf, though this is unconfirmed. E. coli can be transmitted environmentally, but it follows the oral fecal route, so food is the most common trajectory.
The symptoms of E. coli poisoning (Shiga Toxin producing E coli, or STEC) include diarrhea that is bloody, nausea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and if allowed to go untreated, dehydration. Most people will fully recover after two or three weeks, and require minimal medical treatment (often simply hydration) but serious cases often require significant medical intervention.
Dr. Rizzuti has stated that a closure order has been issued to:
- Fueling Brains Braeside
- Fueling Brains West 85th
- Fueling Brains New Brighton
- Fueling Brains Centennial
- Fueling Brains Bridgeland
- Fueling Brains McKnight
- Braineer Academy
- Kidz Space
- Little Oak Early Education (formerly Mangrove)
- Almond Branch School
- Vik Academy in Okotoks
Patrons of the above named daycare centers should monitor their children for the signs of E. Coli symptoms, especially diarrhea (often bloody in nature).
According to one national e. coli lawyer, who represented the victims in a recent outbreak of E. coli at a daycare in the Boston area, noted: “Children are the most susceptible group, when it comes to E. coli, and every precaution and safety measure must be followed to prevent the spread of such a dangerous pathogen. While we have heard of quality control failings at the facility in question in this outbreak, at present it is too early to say where things broke down.”