Canadian health officials have linked early 100 laboratory-confirmed patients in an E. coli outbreak linked to daycares with a common food service center.

Eleven daycare centers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, have been closed because of the illnesses, which now number 96. During a press conference this afternoon, Dr. Francesco Rizzuti, medical officer of Alberta Health Services Calgary, said 22 patients had been hospitalized. 

Rizzuti said both adults and children have been confirmed sick as outbreak patients. The Alberta Health Services reported that all hospitalized patients are children. 

Patients started going to emergency rooms and being admitted to hospitals this past weekend. On Tuesday morning investigators began collecting samples for testing. Among the samples collected were leftovers and frozen foods.

Parents have reported to Canadian media that they believe meatloaf served to children may be the source of the E. coli.

The following sites have been issued a closure order until issues are resolved:

  • Fueling Brains Braeside
  • Fueling Brains West 85th
  • Fueling Brains New Brighton
  • Fueling Brains Centennial
  • Fueling Brains Bridgeland
  • Fueling Brains McKnight
  • Braineer Academy
  • Kidz Space
  • Little Oak Early Education (formerly Mangrove)
  • Almond Branch School
  • Vik Academy in Okotoks

Anyone who works at any of the daycare centers or has a child who attends them should be on the lookout for E. coli symptoms.

More than 2,000 stool sample kits have been sent to the implicated daycare centers. Parents and staff can pick up the kits for free. Specific tests are required to diagnose E. Coli infection because it can mimic other illnesses.