Another case of E. coli at Calgary daycare, but officials say no link to outbreak

CALGARY — Another child at a Calgary daycare has tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, a month after an outbreak that infected hundreds at numerous daycares centres started.

Some parents at Fueling Brains Academy Bridgeland received a letter Monday night from Dr. Franco Rizzuti, Alberta Health Services' chief medical officer for Calgary, to inform them about the case, and suggest they seek medical care and testing if their child has had any symptoms since Sept. 22.

The letter says there is no evidence that the infection was acquired at the child-care facility or that there is a link to the outbreak that had affected 19 daycares — including the Bridgeland facility.

Dr. Kirsten Fiest, a Calgary epidemiologist whose 18-month-old son attended the daycare until last week, says it seems strange that there's another random case at a daycare that was part of the original outbreak.

She questions whether there is that much E. coli going around the city that the cases aren't connected.

Alberta Health Services confirmed the latest case in a statement, but says the risk of exposure is low and it is not recommending another closure of the site.

The health authority has also not provided recent figures on the number of cases connected to the original outbreak or the number of children who are still in hospital.

As of Sept. 27, the number of cases had plateaued at 351 — including 27 secondary cases. Four children remained in hospital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press