A Norwegian tourist died after she contracted rabies from a stray puppy that she rescued while visiting the Philippines. Her family says that the young woman was bitten while she was playing with the animal.
According to the Daily Mail, Birgitte Kallestad,24, died on Monday evening after contracting rabies from a puppy she rescued in the Philippines back in February. Two months ago, Kallestad and her friends were riding on mopeds when she noticed the stray animal and took it back to the resort. After cleaning the dog, the young woman and her friends played with the animal inside of a garden. Her family said in a statement that Kallestad sustained minor bites and scratches from the dog.
Kallestad cleaned the wounds herself since she worked as a health worker at Førde Central Hospital and did not expect to get sick since the scratches were very small. Once she returned home to Norway, Kallestad started to feel very ill.
She was hospitalized multiple times since doctors could not diagnose what was causing her symptoms. A doctor concluded that Kallestad experienced symptoms of rabies and she died eight days after she was admitted to her workplace. Some symptoms of rabies are fever, headaches, muscle spasms, respiratory failure, and hallucinations.
Her family said that Kallestad loved animals and wants the rabies vaccine to be mandatory in Norway.
‘Our dear Birgitte loved animals. Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like her. We want this vaccine to be included in the program for places where it can be rabies, and that people become aware of the dangers.’
31 of the 77 people who were in contact with Kallestad have been vaccinated.
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