OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A bird flu outbreak in the U.S. that led to the deaths of more than 40 million chickens and turkeys and contributed to a spike in egg and meat prices appears to be waning, but experts caution the virus hasn’t disappeared and worry another surge could take hold this fall.
The United States Department of Agriculture isn’t ready to say the outbreak is winding down, but some state agriculture and industry officials are optimistic the end is near as hot weather spreads across the country.
The cost of the outbreak is still being tallied but the USDA has already approved $793 million in additional funding this year.
An outbreak of the similar H-5-N-2 strain of avian flu in 2015 caused more than $1 billion damage to Iowa poultry producers as millions of chickens and turkeys had to be destroyed.