E. coli infections are causing widespread sickness among children in daycare centers in Calgary. The bacteria act like acid on the wall of a person’s intestines, which can lead to kidney failure, bloody diarrhea, blood clots, and even death. This particular strain of E. coli, known as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, is more dangerous than other types. In Calgary, there have been 329 confirmed cases of bacterial infection, with some children needing hospitalization and dialysis.
There have been reports of improper sanitation, live cockroaches, and issues with food handling in the daycares. The source of the outbreak is still under investigation. To assist affected families, the Alberta government has announced a one-time payment of $2,000 per child.
E. coli is typically spread through contaminated food products and water, but it can also be transmitted from an infected person who doesn’t properly wash their hands and handles food. Although most children infected with the bacteria will recover on their own, a small percentage may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be life-threatening. In some cases, the disease can be fatal, cause kidney failure, or lead to chronic kidney failure.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli is highly infectious, which may explain why the outbreak in Calgary daycares spread so extensively. Young children are particularly susceptible to developing hemolytic uremic syndrome. Even children who recover from the illness may have a higher risk of long-term kidney problems.
To prevent E. coli infection, it’s important to practice good hygiene, including frequent handwashing. E. coli can also be transmitted through contact with animals, such as at petting zoos. It’s crucial to cook meat thoroughly and wash fresh produce to reduce the risk of contamination.
In conclusion, E. coli infections can have severe consequences, especially for young children. Prevention measures, such as proper handwashing and hygiene practices, are essential in reducing the spread of the bacteria.
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