Woman dies after dog infects her with rabies

Grant Boone
May 13, 2019

They were on mopeds when they saw a puppy which was a stray.

Birgitte Kallestad, 24, was on holiday with friends when they found the puppy on a street.

She washed and groomed the puppy.

The puppy had given her minor bites and small scrapes during this time, according to Kallestad's family.

Birgitte (pictured) was a health worker and patched up and sterilized the cuts herself.

Ms Kallestad's family said in a statement she fell ill soon after returning to Norway. Eventually, she was being admitted full time.

Neither Kallestad nor her friends on the trip had been inoculated against the disease because it is not on the list of vaccines required to travel to the Philippines, according to the Daily Mail.

After conducting tests, Sweden's Public Health Authorities confirmed on Saturday that Kallestad had rabies.

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But it was too late. She died Monday at the hospital where she worked more than two months after coming in contact with the puppy.

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

Norwegian officials say this is the first case of rabies reported in Norway in 200 years.

The others who were on the trip and who were also in contact with the dog have been alerted and Norway's health trust has so far been in contact with 77 people who have been in contact with the Birgitte.

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.

Filipino children play at a broken fishing boat in Manila Bay in Baseco, Tondo on July 8, 2017.

With rabies are infected, especially wild animals. 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. (AFP/Getty Images) A stray dog in a file photo.

Initial symptoms of rabies include a fever and headaches, but as the disease worsens patients can suffer hallucinations, muscle spasms and respiratory failure.

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