Officials call baby’s death and Alberta family’s illness ‘weird’

Investigators look for answers in baby’s death on Alberta First Nation

RCMP were still looking for answers Thursday after an infant died and 14 others were taken to hospital from an Alberta First Nation.

Police and paramedics were called Wednesday to Morley, on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation 60 kilometres west of Calgary, to check on a report of a child in medical distress.

RELATED: One child from Alberta First Nation dead, others in hospital: RCMP

A four-month-old baby was declared dead at the scene and the others were suffering from influenza-like symptoms.

RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said investigators would remain at the home Thursday and he expected Alberta Health Services could be involved as well.

“It will be a matter of trying to figure out what has gone on here,” Peters said Thursday. “It’s going to be slow.”

He said the people in hospital are not quarantined and it doesn’t appear residents in nearby homes are at risk. He said an autopsy on the baby would likely take place Thursday or Friday.

Peters says it’s not unusual for people to fall ill, but having 15 in the same house is “weird.”

“It’s unusual and that’s why it has generated so much interest,” he said. “I understand why people are wondering. So are we and we’ve got to figure it out.”

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EMS spokesman Stuart Brideaux has said 10 children and four young adults were taken to hospital. One young child was in serious condition, while the rest were stable.

The symptoms were mainly respiratory, said Brideaux.

“Largely these are the typical symptoms we see in any seasonal flu,” he said. “Somebody may have some shortness of breath. They may have a fever. They may be feeling just generally unwell.”

There was no immediate response for comment from either the Alberta government or the office of federal Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott.

An official with the Assembly of First Nations said National Chief Perry Bellegarde spoke with Chief Ernest Wesley of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation Wednesday evening but there was no additional information about the incident.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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