An 18-year-old girl has died of rabies a month after she was bitten by a dog.

Srilakshmi, an undergraduate student, was on her way to college in Palakkad city in the Indian State of Kerala state on May 30 when she was attacked by the canine.

She did not exhibit any symptoms initially after receiving an anti-rabies vaccination, The News Minute reported.

She was later taken to a private hospital when the symptoms began to show. She subsequently received treatment for her high fever at a local medical college Wednesday.

Further diagnosis revealed she was exhibiting symptoms of rabies, after which she was put under treatment and given four shots of anti-rabies vaccination. However, she succumbed to the virus Thursday.

The dog had also bitten its owner a day before it attacked Srilakshmi. The owner has recovered and is medically stable.

A staggering 36% of rabies-related deaths in the world occur in India, where the viral disease is widespread. The exact number of rabies casualties in the country is unknown, but according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), they account for 18,000 to 20,000 fatalities annually.

In the United States, a total of five rabies-related deaths were logged last year. It was already the most in a decade, health officials said, as per U.S. News.

The rabies virus affects the central nervous system and causes death by passing through the nerves to the brain. It can affect any mammal, including domesticated animals, wild animals and even people.

Once bitten by an infected animal, one should "immediately and rigorously" wash the wound with soap and running water for as long as 15 minutes before seeking medical attention, according to Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

Rabies infection symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, disorientation, paralysis, hallucinations, and a fear of water. Death may ensue only a couple of weeks after symptoms begin to show, but it can be avoided by administering a series of five doses within two weeks of exposure, U.S. News reported.

According to the WHO, vaccinating dogs remains the "most cost-effective" way of protecting humans from rabies.

two dogs
Representation. Tuesday's fatal dog attack in the Indian city of Hyderabad was not a new occurence. Counselling/Pixabay