A nasty virus killing pigs is resulting in more expensive bacon

That extra slice of bacon is going to cost more than just your cholesterol.

Prices for the crispy treat rose 13% in February from a year earlier to $5.46 a pound, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which looked at average prices in cities nationwide.

Overall retail pork prices grew 7% in February from a year earlier to $3.73 a pound, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

The rising costs could be linked to a rare disease called porcine epidemic diarrhea, which is killing millions of pre-weaned piglets across the country.

The deaths could help explain why the nation’s hog and pig inventory was down 3% on March 1 from a year ago to 62.9 million head. The country had more than 68 million head in 2012.

U.S. pork production is expected to decline 6% to 7% this year as a result of the disease, the biggest drop in more than 30 years, according to Rabobank, an agricultural lender.

That will likely drive up prices for pork even more at a time when beef prices have hit an all-time high.

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