Monday, 14 October, 2019

Tourist dies from rabies after picking up stray dog with pals

Birgitte Kallestad STRICKEN Birgitte Kallestad didn't feel ill until she got back to Norway
Anna Jefferson | 13 May, 2019, 10:27

"They played with the puppy in the garden" of the resort where they were staying, the family said in a statement published Thursday evening.

After washing and grooming the puppy, the family said that Kallestad and her friends played with it, sustaining minor bites and scratches.

But soon after returning home, she became sick and was hospitalised several times - as doctors scrambled to figure out what was wrong.

According to the family no one in the group of friends had been vaccinated against rabies.

A 24-year-old Norwegian woman has died after catching rabies from a stray puppy that she rescued during a holiday in the Philippines. "Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like hers", her family said.

However, she gave up the ghost as doctors tried to treat her at the hospital where she had been working before she traveled. As she was a health worker, Kallestad sterilized and addressed the wounds herself. Just a few days after she was diagnosed, Kallestad died in the hospital where she was confined.

It has been over 200 years since rabies was last detected on the Norwegian mainland. More About Rabies Rabies is a viral disease that kills tens of thousands of deaths every year, 95 percent of which are located in Asia and Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

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Rabies remains endemic in more than 120 countries, mostly areas with inadequate public health resources and limited access to preventive treatment, according to the CDC.

Norwegians traveling to the Philippines are not compelled to take vaccinations against rabies but after the sad occurrence, the deceased's family have begun to urge that the law should make it compulsory.

Rabies is treatable but left untreated, it can cause a life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous system in humans.

Birgitte's friends have been alerted and Norway's health trust has spoken to 77 people who were in contact with Birgitte.

It can also be spread by an animal's saliva being in contact with a graze or cut on a human's skin.

Initial symptoms of the illness include anxiety, headaches and fever.

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