Birgitte Kallestad passed away Monday - more than two months after taking in the dog she found roaming the streets of the Philippines, the family said in a statement reported by the Daily Mail. "They played with the puppy in the garden" of the resort where they were staying, the family said in a statement published on Thursday evening. She was admitted to a hospital on April 28, when physicians determined she had rabies after being bitten by the dog while on vacation, reports Verdens Gang, a Norwegian publication, according to the Washington Post.
Prior to her hospitalization, Kallestad - who was 24 when she died - had made several trips to the emergency room, where doctors were unable to identify her illness.
Samples sent to the Public Health Authority in Sweden confirmed these suspicions on Saturday. Kallestad, who works at a Norwegian hospital, cleaned up her own tiny wounds but didn't think she needed any other medical help.
"After a while, the puppy started trying to bite them like puppies do". She had been admitted for a week before she died.
It's the first death tied to rabies in Norway in more than 200 years, according to the BBC.
There is a vaccine for rabies, but in order to be effective, it must be given before symptoms appear.
Birgitte's friends have been alerted and Norway's health trust has spoken to 77 people who were in contact with Birgitte.
The disease is mostly prevalent in Asia and Africa and kills thousands of people every year.
Rabies is a viral infection which targets the nervous system and the brain.
According to the CDC, the most common way rabies is transmitted is "through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host".
"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".
Ms Kallestad's family has now called for a change in the law, which at present does not make rabies vaccinations compulsory for citizens travelling to the Philippines.