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

Norwegian tourist, 24, dies of rabies after rescuing a street puppy on a Philippine holiday

Norwegian tourist, 24, dies of rabies after rescuing a street puppy on a Philippine holiday

"Our dear Birgitte loved animals". Kallestad, who works at a Norwegian hospital, cleaned up her own tiny wounds but didn't think she needed any other medical help.

Kallestad was with a group of friends on mopeds when she saW the stray dog on the side of the road and brought it back to her hotel, according to the Daily Mail. After several trips to the emergency room and eventual admission to the hospital, a doctor thought her symptoms looked like rabies, the family said.

It is the first rabies-related human death in Norway for more than 200 years, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. She had been admitted for a week before she died. "This is a disease that's endemic in 150 countries and it's a huge health problem".

"It's a terribly heavy case and a strain for the family", infectious disease consultant Jens Eikås told VG.

There is a vaccine for rabies, but in order to be effective, it must be given before symptoms appear.

At least 59,000 people worldwide die each year worldwide from the animal-borne disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.

Rabies is a treatable illness - but can cause a life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous system in humans if left untreated. Initial symptoms could be confused for the flu - fever, fatigue and headaches. Signs that the disease has progressed include hallucinations, slight or partial paralysis, anxiety, confusion and fear of water. They suggested that a rabies vaccine should be added to a list of inoculations for people traveling to the Philippines.

"Decisions to start vaccination, known as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), will be based on your type of exposure and the animal you were exposed to, as well as laboratory and surveillance information for the geographic area where the exposure occurred", the CDC's website states.

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