Cat fleas were reported to attack human in RPR Batu Kawa, a housing area about 3 km from Kuching town, resulting in an outbreak. A total of 19 people (10 adults and 9 children) were attacked by fleas. They presented with red spots, slightly raised (swollen) and irritation of skin, mostly found on the ankles and legs. The first 4 cases were reported on 29 September 2007 and the last case was on 17 November 2007. The remaining 12 cases which represent the majority of cases reported on 4th October 2007. The study conducted based mainly on field investigation and flea sampling from animals on field at that moment to find out the causes of the disease spread. Flea samples from human and cats were found to be Ctenocephalides felis; which is the most prevalent species in the world. However, no fleas were found on dog, rabbit and rat. This is the first reported case in Kuching; the study was carried out to determine the cause and the epidemiological pattern of the disease. This is important, because cat flea might attack human especially if house owners fail to monitor their pets and practice proper sanitation method to avoid the presence of cat flea larvae at home.
We conducted a field study of a rapid test (Brugia Rapid) for detection of Brugia malayi infection to validate its sensitivity and specificity under operational conditions. Seven districts in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, which are endemic for brugian filariasis, were used to determine the test sensitivity. Determination of specificity was performed in another state in Malaysia (Bachok, Kelantan) which is non-endemic for filariasis but endemic for soil-transmitted helminths. In Sarawak both the rapid test and thick blood smear preparation were performed in the field. The rapid test was interpreted on site, whereas blood smears were taken to the district health centres for staining and microscopic examination. Sensitivity of Brugia Rapid dipstick as compared with microscopy of thick blood smears was 87% (20/23; 95% CI: 66.4-97.2) whereas the specificity was 100% (512/512). The lower sensitivity of the test in the field than in laboratory evaluations (> or =95%), was probably due to the small number of microfilaraemic individuals, in addition to difficulties in performing the test in remote villages by field personnel. The overall prevalence of brugian filariasis as determined by the dipstick is 9.4% (95% CI: 8.2-0.5) while that determined by microscopy is 0.90% (95% CI: 0.5-1.3) thus the dipstick detected about 10 times more cases than microscopy. Equal percentages of adults and children were found to be positive by the dipstick whereas microscopy showed that the number of infected children was seven times less than infected adults. The rapid dipstick test was useful as a diagnostic tool for mapping and certification phases of the lymphatic filariasis elimination programme in B. malayi-endemic areas.