A contagious strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza wiped out flocks across the US and killed millions of birds. The direct effect has been a nasty ripple effect of tight poultry meat and egg supplies, sending retail prices sky-high -- adding to record-high food inflation.
The latest estimates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) show around 24 million poultry birds like chickens and turkeys have died or been culled due to the virus since February.
Bloomberg published a shocking map of the bird flu spreading across the US, covering nearly half of the country.
Even though the virus poses limited risks to humans, the virus has been detected in the nation's leading egg producer: Iowa. The spread continues as "wild bird migration patterns continue. The disease is being introduced to our domestic population," Chloe Carson, the communications director of the Iowa agriculture department, told CNN.
National egg prices are off the charts for this time of year because of tight supplies. The average price of a dozen eggs has jumped to $2.60, up from $1.20 in early January.
Last week, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said poultry farms are better prepared to mitigate virus spreading following new guidelines after the previous bird flu outbreak in 2015.
As for now, the spread shows no signs of abating and adds to higher living costs for Americans struggling under the Biden economy of record-high food and gas prices.