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E. coli outbreak at Calgary daycares declared over by AHS

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A Calgary E. coli outbreak that affected multiple daycare facilities has been declared over by Alberta Health Services (AHS).

AHS said the final three sites came off outbreak status last week. In total, 11 sites that received food from a central kitchen are all off outbreak status.

Final data validation is underway, but at this time, there are 446 cases linked to the outbreak, including 356 that were laboratory-confirmed and 90 probable cases.

The outbreak sent 38 children and one adult to hospital, with 23 of those patients dealing with hemolytic uremic syndrome and eight needing peritoneal dialysis.

A total of 1,581 children connected with the outbreak have been cleared to return to a daycare facility, but some individuals who tested positive for E. coli are still not allowed to return at this time.

E. coli is a bacterial infection that is commonly caused by eating contaminated food.

Children, older adults and immunocompromised people are at greater risk of complications from the type of E. coli involved in this outbreak.

The kitchen connected to the outbreak remains under a closure order.

“In order for the kitchen to re-open, the closure order must be rescinded by AHS, which requires multiple steps including a food safety plan submitted to and approved by AHS,” AHS said in a news release.

“While the outbreak has been declared over, much work continues, including supporting those individuals who continue to have E. coli-positive stools and further work regarding the source investigation.”

Fueling Minds Inc., the company at the centre of the outbreak, and its two directors face a total of 12 charges under municipal business bylaws for operating without a business licence and face a total fine of up to $120,000.

With files from The Canadian Press

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