Young Woman Dies From Rabies After Playing With Stray Puppy in Philippines

There is no law in Norway that requires citizens to have compulsory rabies vaccinations

It is the first rabies-related human death in Norway for more than 200 years, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "They played with the puppy in the garden" of the resort where they were staying, the family said in a statement published Thursday evening.

In February, while on holiday with friends, Birgitte Kallestad found a "helpless" puppy on the side of the road during a scooter ride.

According to the family no one in the group of friends had been vaccinated against rabies.

A Norwegian woman died from rabies after she played with an infected puppy that she attempted to rescue while on vacation, according to news reports.

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It was only after Kallestad had returned to her home country that she began to fall ill.

Her family said that she was hospitalized several times as her condition worsened. Kallestad, who works at a Norwegian hospital, cleaned up her own tiny wounds but didn't think she needed any other medical help. Just a few days after she was diagnosed, Kallestad died in the hospital where she was confined.

"This is a disease that's endemic in 150 countries and it's a huge health problem", he said.

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

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

Thousands of people die every year from rabies, mostly in Asia and Africa.

Rabies, which infects the central nervous system, initially causes symptoms similar to the flu, such as fever, headache and general discomfort, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The animal was infected with rabies. (AFP/Getty Images) A stray dog in a file photo.

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"As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water)". The rabies diagnosis came three days earlier.

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