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Bird Flu Is Spreading in the U.S., Threatening Chicken Exports

A chicken inside a barn at a farm in Pleasureville, Kentucky.

A chicken inside a barn at a farm in Pleasureville, Kentucky.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

A deadly strain of bird flu that’s been raising egg prices ahead of Easter was discovered in five new U.S. states Wednesday, and the virus increasingly is threatening American poultry exports.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was discovered at a commercial poultry farm in Johnston County, North Carolina, and in backyard flocks in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a release. Since mid-January, it’s been found in 23 states in flocks totaling nearly 17 million birds.