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INDIANAPOLIS — A handful of chicken farms in northern Indiana are reporting signs of a virus in their chickens that is extremely rare in North America.

It’s known as Egg Drop Syndrome. It’s not fatal to the birds and it is also not able to spread to humans. But, that does not mean it is without concerns, says Denise Derrer Spears with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

“We are concerned about it,” she told WISH-TV. “Egg Drop Syndrome, there is still a lot that is not known about it, so there is a lot of research to be done. It is very uncommon in the United States. It has been found in Europe more.”

It’s caused by a virus that can have healthy chickens lay eggs with extremely thin and discolored shells, or in some cases no shell at all. Spears says it’s more noticeable in chickens that lay brown eggs, which will appear to be more pale in appearance.

You do not have to worry about these eggs making it into your refrigerator. It has also not been found in hobby flocks or backyard flocks of chickens in Indiana.

The virus, which was first recognized in the state last fall, is also not connected to the outbreak of Avian flu seen in farms in southern Indiana. That outbreak has resulted in thousands of turkeys having to be killed in order to keep the virus from spreading.

No such measures are needed for Egg Drop Syndrome since the virus just needs to run its course in infected chickens. But, measures are being taken to make sure the virus does not spread to other chicken farms.

Indiana produces over nine billion eggs a year, making the state the second-largest producer of eggs in the United States.