Health Care

Vacationing Norwegian woman dead from rabid puppy bite

Vacationing Norwegian woman dead from rabid puppy bite”

"Our dear Birgitte loved animals", a family spokesperson said, according to the BBC. Kallestad, who works at a Norwegian hospital, cleaned up her own tiny wounds but didn't think she needed any other medical help. Later, Kallestad and her friends played with the dog in the garden. Then, one doctor suspected that her symptoms were indicative of rabies. It generally enters the body via virus-laden saliva from a rabid animal into a wound, like a scratch, or through bite wounds that provide direct exposure of mucosal surfaces to saliva from an infected animal.

It's the first death tied to rabies in Norway in more than 200 years, according to the BBC.

Sweden's Public Health Authorities confirmed Saturday that Kallestad had rabies. She made several trips to the emergency room and was eventually admitted to a hospital on April 28.

Birgitte Kallestad, 24, from Hordaland on the Norwegian west coast, died on Monday night - more than two months after coming into contact with the dog while travelling with friends in February.

"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. Early signs of the disease include flu-like symptoms, such as general weakness, fever and headache, followed by more severe symptoms, including anxiety, confusion, hallucinations and insomnia.

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

Kallestad's family said they are campaigning to change in the law to make rabies vaccines compulsory for citizens.

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

It can also be spread by an animal's saliva being in contact with a graze or cut on a human's skin. Rabies is treatable but, if left untreated, it can cause a life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous system in humans.

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