Birgitte Kallestad Biography
Birgitte Kallestad, 24, was on holiday with friends when they found the puppy on a street, her family said in a statement.
The puppy is thought to have infected her when it bit her after they took it back to their resort.
Birgitte Kallestad dies of rabies after bite from stray puppy https://t.co/2cUGm43ec6
— Mary (@doubledittos) May 10, 2019
She fell ill soon after returning to Norway and died on Monday at the hospital where she worked.
Local media outlet Verdens Gang reported that she died on May 6, more than two months after her vacation. Her family said that Kallestad did not begin experiencing symptoms until weeks after returning home.
Kallestad Worked as a Bioengineer
Birgitte Kallestad has recently graduated from college with a degree in bioengineering. According to her Facebook page, she attended Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and graduated in 2018.
Birgitte Kallestad: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Knowhttps://t.co/0SWFYPum4N
Birgitte Kallestad of Norway, 24, passed away after contracting rab… pic.twitter.com/0u7XeqFdhV
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She began working at the hospital in June of 2018. Kallestad shared a picture to Instagram of her lab material after returning from vacation on March 5. The caption reads, “Back to reality ?#microbiology #workworkwork”
Birgitte Kallestad Death With Rabies
Kallestad went to the emergency room multiple times but doctors did not connect her illness to the dog bite until three days before she passed. Norway had not had a rabies case in more than 200 years.
— Yahoo News UK (@YahooNewsUK) May 10, 2019
Birgitte’s family said everyone sustained minor bites and scratches from the dog during this time – as most puppy owners do.
Birgitte, who was a health worker employed at Førde central hospital, patched up and sterilized the scrapes herself.
The cuts were so small that nobody saw the need for further medical supervision, the family said.
It was only after the 24-year-old had returned home to Norway that she began to feel unwell.
Initial symptoms of rabies include a fever and headaches, but as the disease worsens patients can suffer hallucinations, muscle spasms and respiratory failure.
Rabies Always Fatal to Humans
Rabies is preventable thanks to vaccinations, but deadly if not treated immediately. The World Health Organization reports that 99 percent of all human deaths from rabies come from dog bites. 95 percent of all cases occur in Asia and Africa.
Animal-lover dies from rabies after rescuing stray puppy on vacation
Birgitte Kallestad died earlier this week. A stray puppy she rescued in the Philippines bit her months ago, but doctors didn’t know she had rabies. pic.twitter.com/r52nwcaHFC
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Animals carry rabies through their saliva. The Centers for Disease Control says that a person infected with rabies may think they they have the flu. Initial symptoms include weakness, fever and headache. As the virus progresses, it targets the brain. The symptoms get worse and include cerebral dysfunction, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, and insomnia. The CDC says that “once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.”
10 Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Birgitte Kallestad died Monday after contracting rabies from a dog she rescued
- She and her friends sustained minor cuts and bites while playing with the puppy
- The health worker began to feel unwell weeks after returning home to Norway
- Doctors were stumped as rabies hasn’t occurred in mainland Norway since 1815
- Her family want rabies vaccines to become compulsory for the Philippines
- Birgitte Kallestad Encountered the Stray Puppy on the Side of a Road & Brought it Back to the Resort While on Vacation
- Birgitte Kallestad Began Feeling Sick Weeks After Returning From the Philippines & the Swedish Public Health Authority Confirmed She Had Rabies
- Kallestad Worked as a Bioengineer at the Same Hospital Where She was Treated
- Kallestad’s Parents Are Pushing for Travelers to be Required to Have a Rabies Vaccination Before Traveling to the Philippines
- Rabies is Nearly Always Fatal to Humans Once Symptoms Appear, According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention