Rabies is the deadliest viral infection known, with no reliable treatment, and although it is entirely preventable, rabies continues to kill more than 60,000 people every year, mostly children in countries where dog rabies is endemic. America is only 1 generation away from the time when rabies killed more than 10,000 animals and 50 Americans every year, but 3 to 5 Americans continue to die annually from rabies. Distressingly, > 50,000 Americans undergo rabies prevention therapy every year after exposure to potentially rabid animals. While enormous progress has been made, more must be done to defeat this ancient but persistent, fatal zoonosis.
In the US, lack of public awareness and ambivalence are the greatest dangers imposed by rabies, resulting in unnecessary exposures, anxiety, and risk. Veterinarians have a special role in informing and reassuring the public about prevention and protection from rabies. This summary of current facts and future advances about rabies will assist veterinarians in informing their clients about the disease.
Objective—To create a mathematical model to assist in early prediction of the probability of discharge in hospitalized foals ≤ 7 days old.
Study Design—Prospective study.
Procedures—Medical records from 910 hospitalized foals ≤ 7 days old for which outcome was recorded as died or discharged alive were reviewed. Thirty-four variables including historical information, physical examination findings, and laboratory results were examined for association with survival. Variables associated with being discharged alive were entered into a multivariable logistic regression model. Accuracy of the model was validated prospectively on data from 163 foals.
Results—Factors in the final model included age group, ability to stand, presence of a suckle reflex, WBC count, serum creatinine concentration, and anion gap. Sensitivity and specificity of the model to predict live discharge were 92% and 74%, respectively, in the retrospective population and 90% and 46%, respectively, in the prospective population. Accuracy of an equine clinician's initial prediction of the foal being discharged alive was 83%, and accuracy of the model's prediction was 81%. Combining the clinician's prediction of probability of live discharge with that of the model significantly increased (median increase, 12%) the accuracy of the prediction for foals that were discharged and nonsignificantly decreased (median decrease, 9%) the accuracy of the predication for nonsurvivors.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Combining the clinician's initial predication of the probability of a foal being discharged alive with that of the model appeared to provide a more precise early estimate of the probability of live discharge for hospitalized foals.