NEWS SCAN: Vaccine-autism claim, H5N1 case in Vietnam, Salmonella recall

Mar 12, 2010

Special court rules again against vaccine-linked autism claims
A special federal court today ruled against claims that vaccines cause autism, marking the second such ruling this year, Reuters reported. Today's case was brought by parents of an Oregon boy who claim that thimerosal caused their son's regressive autism. The court's ruling said the presence of thimerosal in the vaccine did not cause autism. One of the special masters who heard the case said the parents did not present a "scientifically sound theory." On Feb 12 the same court rejected the claims of three parents that autism was triggered by measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine or by MMR vaccine in combination with vaccines containing thimerosal. The Court of Claims weighs complaints brought by citizens under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a federal no-fault program set up in 1986 to reduce the number of lawsuits against physicians and vaccine makers.
Mar 12 Reuters story
Feb 12 CIDRAP News story

Vietnamese woman hospitalized with H5N1 infection
Vietnamese health officials today announced an H5N1 avian influenza infection in a 25-year-old Hanoi woman, Voice of Vietnam reported. She was first hospitalized on Mar 7 with pneumonia symptoms and was treated with antiviral medication, but she was moved to Bach Mai Hospital on Mar 10 after her illness worsened. The report did not say if she had contact with sick or dead birds. If the World Health Organization confirms the woman's illness, she will be listed as Vietnam's 116th case, of which 58 have been fatal. In other developments, Singapore's government has purchased 1 million doses of H5N1 avian influenza vaccine for its stockpile, the Singapore-based Straits Times reported today. The doses are slated to arrive by the end of the year. Singapore borders Indonesia, which has the world's highest number of H5N1 cases and deaths.

Salmonella product recall list swells to 153
The number of recalled products containing potentially contaminated hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) climbed to 153 yesterday, up from 101, according to a database from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recalls are linked to the Feb 26 recall of HVP paste and powder, a flavor enhancer contained in a host of food products, made by Basic Food Flavors Inc., a Las Vegas company. The firm recalled its products after one of its customers detected Salmonella in the company's HVP. So far no illnesses have been linked to the recall. On Mar 9 the FDA released an inspection report detailing several problems at the Basic Food Flavors facility and revealed that the company continued shipping its products even after it knew Salmonella was detected at the facility. The FDA said is considering its regulatory options against the company in light of the findings.
FDA HVP recall database

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