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Norwegian woman dies from rabies after Philippine puppy bite


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JohnSurrey

Another holiday horror story:

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Norwegian woman dies from rabies after Philippines puppy bite

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BIRGITTE KALLESTAD -  Birgitte's family is calling on Norway to make rabies vaccinations compulsory for citizens travelling to the Philippines

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

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.

She fell ill soon after returning to Norway, and died on Monday at the hospital where she worked.

It is the first rabies-related death in Norway for more than 200 years.

Her family said Ms Kallestad had sterilised the "small scrapes" given by the puppy as she played with it, but sought no more medical attention.

Back in Norway, she visited the hospital's emergency room several times but doctors were unable to diagnose her illness in time.

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

Rabies is treatable but, if left untreated, it can cause a life-threatening infection of the brain and nervous system in humans.

The disease kills thousands of people every year, mostly in Asia and Africa, where it is prevalent.

Rabies vaccines are not compulsory under Norwegian law, but Norway's Institute of Public Health recommends them for certain types of visits to affected countries, including the Philippines.

"We are very sympathetic with the family," said Sir Feruglio, a Senior Medical Officer at the Institute, in an interview with the BBC.

"It's really important to stress that even if you've been vaccinated before you travel, if you do have contact [with a potentially infected animal] you need to go to a local health clinic for a second vaccination.

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

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48226676

 

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oztony

No rabies deaths in her own country for 200 years ... rabies...what is rabies ? 

Coming from a completely rabies free country I have always been aware of the danger of rabies abroad and avoid dogs in the PI that are are roaming around , quite sad that she worked in a hospital and could not connect the dots in regards to her recently contracted illness ... which cost her .. her life.

Edited by oztony
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throttleplate

in iloilo dogs roam the streets like humans, piss anywhere they want like humans,shit on the sidewalks unlike humans except in san francisco calif. I never touch the dogs here, not even friends dogs. Cats the same, never will i touch a cat, even a friendly cat i will move away from it.

Back in 1998 living in las vegas i got scratched by a indoor outdoor cat my friend owned and ended up with cat scratch fever which screwed me up bad and the hospitol took 3 weeks to figure it out. Cats claws carry very bad things on them, they are like needles with killer bacteria on them.

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Paddy

In a country that hasn’t seen rabies in centuries it is understandable that the population will be unfamiliar with it. But is that any excuse for not seeking immediate medical attention after a dog bite?

Ditto, why take a stray pup back to your resort? What was she going to do with it at the end of the holiday? Smuggle it back into Norway? There’s probably a good reason the country hasn’t seen rabies in centuries!

It’s a pity she had to die, but perhaps Mom would be better advised to promote awareness of such travel hazards instead of calling for the government to inoculate everyone before they travel to (specifically) the Philippines?  The fact that Norwegian doctors don’t know much about rabies suggests to me that other Norwegian travelers perhaps make better choices...

 

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Jawny

I’ve known many people who have an irresistible desire to provide care for an abandoned animal, especially cats and dogs. I’ve shared a decade of life with a cat found abandoned as a days old kitten. 

The resort may have been seen as animal friendly place to provide some comfort and care and a future for the puppy. Very few animal shelters I’ve heard of here, so the resort makes sense. 

Puppies  are playful with razor sharp teeth so skin penetration is highly likely. From my reading, it appears the victim was medically trained person and did an appropriate cleaning of the injury. Not sure why she would seek further attention if her own was adequate. Her failure to think about rabies makes sense, given where she comes from. I’m pretty sure a lot of western doctors don’t think about typhus, malaria, typhoid fever and more as the encounter walk-in patients. 

Rabies is one of the classic ailments typically in medical school curricula. Primarily because of the way it becomes so lethal. 

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oztony
15 minutes ago, Jawny said:

Very few animal shelters I’ve heard of here, so the resort makes sense. 

:scratch_head:

 

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JohnSurrey

"Back in Norway, she visited the hospital's emergency room several times but doctors were unable to diagnose her illness in time."

In the UK one of the first questions the Doctor asks is "Have you been abroad recently...?"

And probably followed up with the "Have you been in contact or bitten by any animals or insects recently...?

Not saying it's their fault but.

Edited by JohnSurrey
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Standard procedure here is the three shots at rabies bite clinic whether the dog is anti-rab vaccinated or not. Now I heard they started charging a fee for the shots. Before it was free. This is no good. Ok, dog owner pays. In case of dog bite, dogs suddenly have no owner...

Also good here is that if infant has fever, they always do dengue check.

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SkyMan
22 minutes ago, RR3 said:

Ok, dog owner pays. In case of dog bite, dogs suddenly have no owner...

Well, she became the dog owner when she picked it up.  And it might be good to let the resort know they acquired a rabid puppy. 

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Jack Rat
2 hours ago, SkyMan said:

Well, she became the dog owner when she picked it up.  And it might be good to let the resort know they acquired a rabid puppy. 

Most likely the infected pup had siblings, also infected!!!

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wondersailor

Why do so many tourists think everything is exactly like it is at home no matter where they travel ? I feel for the family and friends of the victim and hopefully will make some more aware that they are taking addition risks when venturing to a foreign land. 

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SkyMan
7 hours ago, RangerUp said:

Rabid puppies?

Infected mom, infected puppies. 

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Paddy
20 hours ago, Jawny said:

I’ve shared a decade of life with a cat found abandoned as a days old kitten

Well done. You gave the stray a home. How on earth was she to do the same when spending a week or two at a resort?

For a medically trained animal lover she made a couple of really poor decisions.

 

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Jawny
14 minutes ago, Paddy said:

Well done. You gave the stray a home. How on earth was she to do the same when spending a week or two at a resort?

For a medically trained animal lover she made a couple of really poor decisions.

 

I agree.  My bad.  Choosing to rescue the dog in such a fashion was irresponsible.  The resort was a poor choice as a place to provide attention to the stray.  Of course, my situation was different so it should not have been used as an example.  I apologize for being careless in my choices of examples.  

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