Amidst ongoing avian influenza headlines, one expert says the disease has shifted from an outbreak to a “new reality.” The highly pathogenic avian influenza is now the deadliest animal disease in U.S. history. The 2022-23 outbreak has hit 317 commercial farms and domestic birds in 47 states.

While a similar event overtook poultry operations in 2015, the current strain impacts more wild birds than ever. USDA’s wild bird surveillance found more than 6,000 infected wild bird cases involving 100 species in the last year. Due to this, experts don’t anticipate a stop to the virus any time soon.

As the virus continues to evolve, the University of Minnesota Avian Health Chair Carol Cardona says steps should be taken to see if population culls can be reduced when an infection is found in one barn on an operation but not another. As the disease continues to be a primary factor in egg price inflation, a full recovery in the laying flock is hoped to be made in the coming year.

Read more on avian influenza here.