A 24-year old Norwegian woman has died after contracting rabies from a stray puppy in the Philippines.

According to a statement by her family, Birgitte Kallestad was on holiday with friends when they found the puppy on a street. The puppy is thought to have infected her when it bit her after they took it back to their resort.

She fell ill soon after returning to Norway, and died on Monday at the hospital where she worked making it the first rabies-related death in Norway for more than 200 years.


“Our dear Birgitte loved animals. Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like her” her family said.

Norway’s government does not make rabies vaccinations compulsory for citizens travelling to the Philippines, but Ms Kallestad’s family has now called for a change in the law. “If we can achieve this, the death of our sunbeam can save others,” the family said.

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