Tourist, 24, dies from rabies after helping stray dog in the Philippines

Tourist, 24, dies from rabies after helping stray dog in the Philippines

Kallestad carried the puppy in her basket and took it back to the resort they were staying at, her family said in a statement, according to the Daily Mail.

For Kallestad, saving the puppy proved fatal.

In an effort to rescue a stray puppy, a 24-year-old Norwegian woman has died after contracting rabies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabies "is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal". The rabies virus attacks the brain and nervous system in humans and, if left untreated, it can result in death within a few days of symptoms onset.

Kallestad fell ill upon returning home to Norway, proceeding to visit the hospital's emergency room a number of times. Doctors struggled to solve the mystery of what was wrong.

Eventually, a doctor treating her suspected that Birgitte's symptoms were signs of rabies.

Kallestad, who was a health worker employed at Førde Central Hospital had patched up and sterilised the small bites herself while on holiday, with nobody in the group seeing the need for further medical attention.

Kallestad was from Hordaland, two months after the dog bit her.

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Animal lover, Birgitte Kallestad.

"Our dear Birgitte loved animals", her family said in the statement, according to the Washington Post.

Norway's government does not make rabies vaccinations compulsory for citizens travelling to the Philippines, but Ms Kallestad's family has now called for a change in the law.

World Health Organization lists the Philippines as a high-risk country for humans contracting rabies.

There are about 55,000 cases of rabies worldwide each year with most cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Dogs are the main cause of rabies-related deaths.

Initial symptoms of rabies include headaches and a fever. The nation's health officials have been in touch with 77 people who've come in contact with Kallestad, saying 31 have been vaccinated.

Birgitte's family are now campaigning for rabies to be included on the program for the Philippines and other places where it is is possible to contract the disease from street animals.

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