WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 24-year-old Norwegian tourist who visited the Philippines with her friends recently died due to exposure to a rabies-infected dog.
- Despite sustaining bites and cuts from playing with a stray dog they picked up on the road, Birgitte Kallestad reportedly did not seek further treatment due to the fact that the cuts were small.
- According to the Daily Mail, Kallestad and her friends have not received vaccines against rabies since it was not compulsory for their travel to the Philippines.
Two months after going on a vacation trip to the Philippines, a health worker from Norway died after getting infected with rabies from a homeless dog.
In February, 24-year-old Birgitte Kallestad and her friends traveled to the Southeast Asian nation. While in town one day, they chanced upon a stray puppy roaming in a street.
According to the Daily Mail, her family said that Kallestad carried the puppy back to the resort where they were staying and washed and groomed it. They said Kallestad and her friends got bitten and scratched while playing with the dog. She was reported to have had the cuts cleared and sterilized but since the injuries were minor, she opted not to seek further treatment.
When she went back to Norway, Kallestad became ill and was hospitalized numerous times while doctors scrambled to determine what could possibly be wrong with her. After more than two months since coming in contact with the dog, Kallestad died Monday at the hospital where she worked.
“Our dear Birgitte loved animals. Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like her,” said her family in a statement reported by BBC.
On Saturday, Kallestad was confirmed to have contracted rabies, according to authorities from Sweden’s Public Health office.
The Daily Mail reported that Kallestad along with her companions on the trip had not been vaccinated against the disease because the vaccine is not among the list needed when traveling to the Philippines.
Currently, Kallestad’s family is reportedly pushing for a change in the law, that rabies vaccines should be mandatory for all citizens. They hoped that if this will be achieved, their daughter’s death will be able to save others.
Rabies can be treated but can cause a potentially fatal infection of the brain and nervous system in humans if left untreated.
Source: Fox News