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Bird flu: Banking on prevention

Von Joe Remick


Experts seek joint strategy in flu fight. | New pandemic could kill millions. | Vienna. Experts from around the globe have gathered in Vienna to formulate a joint strategy to fight the spread of bird flu. The talks in Austria come six months after a donors conference in China. In Beijing, nations pledged 1.5 billion euros to combat the disease, which has killed around 100 people in Asia. Experts say an aggressive offensive against bird flu will be key in preventing it from mutating to where it could be transmitted from one human being to another. Experts and governments want to avoid a pandemic similar to the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak which killed between 50 and 100 million people around the globe.

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The World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are currently developing projects aimed at containing bird flu, including media and educational drives to provide information to people in nations seen as at high-risk. The European Union has already donated 300 million euros to stop bird flu transmissions.