A new strain of a particularly contagious and deadly avian flu is making its way through states in the Midwest and Northeast. New Jersey currently has zero cases, but is sandwiched between states that do have outbreaks, so it may just be a matter of time.
One theory is that the birds contract the virus via wild migratory birds flying around the country dropping infected feces.
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the virus, H5N1, has been detected in about a third of the country since February. It is the worst avian flu outbreak since 2015. That year saw 50 million birds killed or euthanized. It also saw poultry and egg prices soar. Now, the concern is that it will do the same thing, however, it will be coming at a time when inflation is already out of control due to a pandemic and, now, a war in Europe. Should this end up putting the same pressure on the poultry industry that it did in 2015, we will see prices soar even further than their already outrageous prices. Currently, chicken breast prices are around 90% higher than they were pre-pandemic.
The outbreak is already widespread throughout Europe and Canada where it is showing signs that the damage could be worse than in 2015.
States with outbreaks: