A tourist from Norway who was visiting the Philippines with friends for vacation is now dead after playing with a stray dog who had rabies.
24-year-old Birgitte Kallestad was traveling with friends in February all around the Southeast Asian nation. While riding mopeds through the country, they came across a puppy.
In a statement from her family, Birgitte chose to ride around with the puppy in her basket. She then chose to bring the animal back to her resort.
While washing and grooming the young pup, the young tourist and her friends received small bites and scratches. While back in Norway, Birgitte was able to have a health worker clean and sterilize her cuts. However, they did not seek further medical attention. The cuts were so small that there was no cause for worry.
Norwegian Tourist Contracts Rabies and Dies
After the trip, the young tourist became ill and was in and out of the hospital numerous times. Doctors were doing their best to figure out why Birgitte was so sick. Sadly, Birgitte died on Monday at the same hospital that was once of her place of work. Her death came two months after being in contact with the puppy.
According to a report from her family to the BBC, Birgitte was a big-time lover of animals. They go on to say that they are fearful of someone else going through rabies and not knowing about it for months.
On Saturday, Sweden’s Public Health Authorities was able to confirm that the young tourist had rabies.
Due to rabies not being on the requirement list of vaccines when traveling to the Philippines, Birgitte and her friends did not vaccinate against the illness.
Though rabies is treatable, those who do not receive treatment can endure a life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous symptoms.
Currently, the family of Kallestad is the process of campaigning for new laws that make rabies vaccines compulsory for citizens.