The epidemic of E. coli in Calgary daycares continues to add numbers

More than 100 people have been linked to the outbreak of E. coli that caused the closure of 11 daycares in Calgary and area this past weekend.

On Thursday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said there were now 128 lab-confirmed cases linked to the outbreak, up from 96 the day before.

More and more children are going through hospitals. As of Thursday, there were 25 children hospitalized, 20 at Alberta Children’s Hospital and five at the Peter Lougheed Center pediatric unit, and three children were discharged from hospital.

Provincial health authorities have confirmed that nine patients have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), are stable and receiving “appropriate care” in hospital.

HUS is a kidney disease when the filtering properties of these organs are blocked by the destruction of red blood cells. This can lead to acute kidney injury – a sudden, temporary loss of kidney function – and require dialysis.

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According to pediatric nephrologist Dr. Julian Midgley, the “vast majority” of children will eventually recover from HUS.

He acknowledged that it could be terrifying for the family.

“Children can be fine, then three or five days later be seriously ill with both, with diminished kidney function, and it could even be a week later,” Midgley told PKBNEWS.

“And the children could be very, very sick in the hospital, sometimes even requiring intensive care.”

During an outbreak of E. coli in October 2022, Teagan Roberts’ son Rhett spent four days in the pediatric intensive care unit, part of which was more than a month in hospital.

At the age of one, Rhett suffered from kidney failure and seizures.

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“He has chronic kidney disease and brain damage, so we’re dealing with developmental delays,” Roberts said.

“We are doing continual follow-ups with the Alberta Health Services nephrology clinic, and he is in speech therapy and he has also taken physiotherapy cla*ses. So a lot of medical appointments going on for him, unfortunately.

This week, Alberta Children’s Hospital set up a clinic dedicated to following up patients after their first visit to the emergency department during this latest outbreak, as well as patients who have been discharged from the hospital.

Children affected by the outbreak should have daily blood tests for signs that may indicate HUS or other complications.

Sarah MacDonald’s son Lachlan is among dozens of children under close surveillance due to this week’s outbreak.

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“People wait six to seven hours every day in the emergency room because blood tests have to be done every 24 hours,” MacDonald said.

“These are children under the age of five. They are supposed to go to bed at 7:00 p.m. and some of them have to go to bed at 7:30 p.m. »

Daily blood tests are the latest in a series of challenges.

MacDonald’s son fell ill shortly after returning from daycare and had “very bad” diarrhea for more than 48 hours straight.

“Lachlan spent the night in the bathroom. He couldn’t even sleep in his bed,” MacDonald said. “He was pa*sing not only blood but also flesh in his stool.”

She said her son now suffered from intestinal prolapse.

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“It won’t be a quick recovery for him.”

Despite regular communications from the Fueling Brains Academy and AHS since the outbreak was declared, Sarah said she was disappointed that she was not made aware of the suspected E. coli infections in an initial letter.

“I don’t feel like those kids were protected in that communication.”

AHS has set up a public-facing web page about the outbreak.

AHS said it is aware of three daycare-related patients who are receiving out-of-province care.

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