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New closures as Alberta parents warn of adverse E. coli effects


More children have tested positive for E. coli at six additional daycare sites in Calgary, according to Alberta's chief medical officer of health. 

Dr. Mark Joffe issued a statement late Friday night saying out of an abundance of caution, the facilities will be closed.

Active Start Country Hills, the Scenic Acres location of CanCare Childcare, CEFA Early Learning Childcare South, MTC Daycare, Renert Junior Kindergarten and Calgary JCC Child Care have all been temporarily shuttered. 

Joffe also says Vik Academy, which was part of the original closures and had since reopened, is once again closed as a precaution pending testing results.

Every site will be required to be cleaned and sanitized before they can once again open their doors, and children will be tested to confirm their negative status before returning. 

All facility operators have been contacted, and Joffe says parents of these facilities will be directly notified as soon as possible by the operators working with Alberta Health Services.


Joffe says some of the children who have tested positive at the added centres are connected to daycares from the original outbreak.

"To all the parents involved in this terrible situation, we hear you and understand what you are going through," a statement from his office reads. "However, it is crucial for parents who have children who attend these daycares follow the guidance being given to them by health care professionals.

"If your daycare is closed," he added, "please respect why this is done and keep your children at home. Only send your child to another facility if they have tested negative for E. coli and have no symptoms."

The statement asks all daycare operators in the Calgary region to confirm the health and daycare history of children who are new to their facility.

"By working together and following health guidance, we will stop this outbreak."


There have been 342 lab-confirmed cases of the bacterial infection related to the declared on Sept. 4.

Twelve children were still in hospital as of Friday, 10 of whom have Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a complication affecting the blood and kidneys.

Six of those children were receiving dialysis.


Two Alberta parents who say they've "gone through hell" are reaching out to help those touched by the latest outbreak. 

Teagan Rogers, who lives in Crossfield, says her son Rhett got E. coli last October. With it came various complications. 

"It can actually attack every organ in your body, and unfortunately for my son, that's what happened," Rogers told CTV News. "He was in severe pain. He cried for days. It was a nightmare."

Rhett spent weeks in the hospital with HUS. 

He was put on dialysis after liver failure and after the complication attacked his brain. He made it home, but the two-year-old still has chronic kidney disease and various developmental delays. 

Rogers says her family's trauma made her recoil when she heard about the latest cases in the province.  

"I felt sick for those families," she said. "I felt angry."

It's an emotion reflected by Airdrie's Christina McAleer, whose daughter Charlie was impacted by the same October outbreak. 

Charlie also spent time in hospital and is looking at various levels of blood work for the rest of her life.

"You don't really get closure from this," McAleer said Saturday. "They told us she'll need to tested every year for the rest of her life and could have difficulties (if she) becomes pregnant."

It's all part of the reason the moms are banding together to try to help those currently being affected. 

A group McAleer created -- YYC HUS Parent Support Group on Facebook -- has brought in some of those hurt by the latest outbreak. 

They're also asking all parents to look for early warning signs that something may not be right with their child's health. 

That includes the obvious symptoms, like bloody diarrhea, but also the less obvious: things like stomach pain, a lethargic attitude and the loss of appetite. 

"We need to do better for our kids," Rogers said. "We need better communication, better policies in place. Because things like this -- especially in a daycare setting -- should not happen."

With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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