Alberta Health Services says there are now 142 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli linked to an outbreak at Calgary daycares, and a small number of children are receiving dialysis.
This comes after an outbreak of shiga toxin-producing E. coli, which can cause serious problems, at several nurseries that share a kitchen.
Dr. Francesco Rizzuti, medical director of health for Alberta Health Services’ Calgary Zone, said Friday that a small number of patients are receiving peritoneal dialysis.
AHS added in a separate email that no more than five patients are on dialysis, but that the number is too small to provide exact details due to privacy concerns.
Alberta Children’s Hospital has borrowed equipment from Foothills Medical Center and Alberta Kidney Care South, and has rented additional equipment to ensure adequate capacity.
“We understand that this situation has had a significant emotional impact on those involved,” Rizzuti said.
SEE | AHS Dr. Francesco Rizzuti Provides Update on E. Coli Outbreak Friday
There are 26 hospitalizations related to the outbreak. Twenty-five are at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and one patient at the Peter Lougheed Centre.
There are also 11 children with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a disease that affects the kidneys.
AHS is still working to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Rizzuti added that some of the daycares that were previously issued a closure order will be able to reopen next week.
Mom describes emotional moment while daughter was hospitalized
Kyla Herman said her daughter Cameron, 4 1/2, goes to one of the affected daycares. When Cameron developed a high fever and lethargy last week, Herman thought she had a virus, until the daycare notified him about the E. coli outbreak.
He said he took Cameron to Alberta Children’s Hospital on Monday. At first everything was quite quiet in the waiting room, but then parents and children began to enter.
“The nurses keep telling me they’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.
Blood tests indicated that E. coli is affecting Cameron’s kidneys and doctors said she could be headed toward hemolytic uremic syndrome. The girl remains in the hospital.
“It’s the most heartbreaking thing to see,” Kyla said.
“You would do anything in the world to make them better. I would accept it if it meant she was okay. It’s terrible. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” he said.
She is worried about her daughter’s future bowel and kidney function, but said she now wants the family to be home together again.
“It’s very emotional. You have your ups and downs, and you can’t choose when they come, it just hits you.”
Reopening of daycare centers
AHS closed 11 daycares. At four of those sites, no one has reported a diagnosis or symptoms of E. coli, Rizzuti said. These four sites are Fueling Brains Bridgeland, Little Oak Early Education, Almond Branch School, and Braineer Academy.
Rizzuti said those four facilities can reopen Monday, as long as no children or staff report symptoms before then.
The other seven facilities will reopen Tuesday to children and staff who are approved by AHS.
Those nurseries are:
- Feeding Brains Braeside
- Feeding Brains West 85th
- Feeding Brains New Brighton
- Fueling Brains Centennial
- Feeding brains McKnight
- Children’s space
- Vik Academy in Okotoks
“The staff at Alberta Children’s Hospital are working hard to ensure all patients receive the care they need, with many staff working overtime. We are extremely grateful for their dedication and support during this difficult time,” Rizzuti said.