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European Commission to Pledge $100 Million in Fight Against Bird Flu


The European Commission says it plans to contribute $100 million in aid to help countries prevent the spread of bird flu.

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Walder said Friday in Brussels the aid will be offered at next week's bird flu conference in Beijing. She noted that never before has an animal disease posed such a global threat.

Thursday, the World Bank said it had approved $500 million in aid to help fight bird flu.

The World Health Organization says samples of the deadly H5N1 strain taken from two bird flu victims in Turkey show a slight genetic change in the virus - a sign it may be mutating into a human flu virus that could kill millions.

Bird flu has killed three people in Turkey and 79 in East Asia since 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.
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