Mystery clouds death of baby girl on Stoney First Nation
Children, adults stricken with 'influenza-like' symptoms, no word on public health concerns
Officials remained tight-lipped Thursday one day after a four-month old girl was found dead and 12 other people in the same household were discovered ill with "influenza-type symptoms" on the Stoney First Nation west of Calgary.
Ten of those 12 people are also children, one of whom was in serious condition when taken to hospital.
The children and two adults were discovered by paramedics after they were called to the home for reports of two children in medical distress.
- Medical emergency on Alberta First Nation raises concerns over ambulance shortage
- Child dead, 14 others in hospital after Stoney First Nation 'illness'
RCMP said the adults have been released from hospital, while the 10 children remain in stable condition.
One of them is a two-year-old girl in serious, but stable, condition.
Police initially said 14 were sent to hospital, but two of those were adults accompanying ill family members and were not admitted, according to Emergency Medical Services.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) said Wednesday that all the individuals had "influenza-type symptoms," but would not say whether there were any public health concerns when asked on Thursday.
"Nothing more planned. As EMS noted yesterday, this was influenza-like illness," AHS said to CBC News when asked for more information.
RCMP said an autopsy is scheduled for Friday in Calgary.
Impact on community
Rob Lahache, the CEO of the Wesley First Nation, one of three bands that make up the Stoney, said the community is in shock and there's very little information on what happened.
"This is very early on," he said. "I think one of the hardest things we have to face right now is we don't have any answer, so that forces the mind to wander."
He said he has not spoken to the family.
"We are really wishing to respect their privacy and respect their grieving process at this time. We're trying to keep any correspondence very low key and minimal," said Lahache.
"We just want to make sure they have what they need and that they feel supported."
'She has struggled'
Little is known of the family that lives in the home at this time, but a relative told CBC News that all those who fell sick were siblings.
Terry Daniels, who has lived on the reserve her entire life, said the mother in the home is quiet.
"She does care for her family and she has struggled in her life like everybody else here on the reserve," she said.
Daniels said she saw the woman two weeks ago at the local gas station.
"She was happy, she looked healthy."
RCMP cars were blocking access to the home on Thursday morning and officers at the scene said no one was inside.
The major crimes unit is part of the ongoing investigation.