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Calgary E. coli outbreak connected to daycare sites sends dozens of kids to hospital

Alberta Health Services says up to 50 children have arrived at hospitals in connection with an E. coli outbreak that’s been declared at six locations of a Calgary daycare operator.

As well, AHS says five additional sites that share a central kitchen are also part of the outbreak.

The provincial health delivery agency says 17 lab-confirmed cases have been linked to the outbreak, as well as 12 individuals hospitalized, and up to 50 children presenting to hospital.

Six Fueling Brains daycare sites, all in Calgary, have been issued a closure order until issues are resolved.

Braineer Academy, Kidz Space, Little Oak Early Education, Almond Branch School and Vik Academy in Okotoks, Alta., have also been issued closure orders.

Families with children attending any of the locations are being sent letters advising of the outbreak and are being asked to monitor for symptoms and present to an emergency department if necessary.

Diarrhea, which may be bloody, is the predominant symptom associated with E. coli. Symptoms usually start one to 10 days after eating food contaminated with the E. coli bacteria.

AHS says majority of people who get sick from E. coli generally improve on their own and without specific treatment within 10 days, but a proportion may develop more severe complications.

E. coli bacteria live in the guts of humans and animals.

The health agency says children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are at greater risk of complications from this strain of E. coli.