Norwegian woman dies from rabies after puppy bite in the Philippines

The 24 year-old Norwegian woman was bitten by

According to a statement from Birgitte's family, the group were out riding mopeds when they came across a stray puppy on the side of the road, which Birgitte carried into her basket and took back to the resort where she was staying.

The puppy is believed to have infected her when it bit her while they were playing, according to the BBC.

Birgitte Kallestad, 24, died after contracting rabies from stray dog she tried to help while in the Philippines, her family said.

She sought medical attention several times upon returning home but doctors were unable to diagnose what was wrong.

Samples sent to the Public Health Authority in Sweden confirmed these suspicions on Saturday. Kallestad died on Monday (May 6). "Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like hers", her family said. 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 was the first rabies-related death in Norway in more than 200 years.

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

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

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the rabies virus is transmitted in the saliva of rabid animals.

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

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

Tt can also be prevented through vaccination however Norway's government does not impose a mandatory rabies vaccination on its citizens.

A stray dog roams on the streets of Cainta municipality in the Philippines on September 28, 2013.

Initial symptoms of rabies include headaches and a fever.

"In the United States, postexposure prophylaxis consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period".