A North American outbreak of the H5N2 avian influenza virus is expected to lead to much higher prices of eggs and poultry products as efforts to contain the outbreak so far have been unsuccessful. More than 32 million commercial birds have either been killed by the virus or culled in an attempt to slow its spread and contain the outbreak. The outbreak was first reported to have affected egg producing farms in Iowa, and the disease has since spread to neighbouring Nebraska.
Prices for meat products from commercial products has already increased slightly, but prices for eggs in some parts of the United States have already increase by roughly two thirds. Given the substantial number of commercial birds already culled and likely further culls, the real purchasing power of the United States dollar is expected to decline substantially due to increases in food costs.