The federal government is giving Kentucky $47,500 to study a fatal bat disease. Since the winter of 2007-2008, millions of insect-eating bats in at least 33 states and seven Canadian provinces have died from this devastating disease. A little brown bat in south western Kentucky has tested positive for White-nose sydrome.When it was found exhibiting suspicious symptoms, it was taken to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia which was able to make the confirmation.. Despite a somewhat rosy outlook in the eastern United States, white nose syndrome shows no signs of letting up in Kentucky bats. Murray State University wildlife specialist Terry Derting says the deadly disease is a type of fungus that upsets hibernation periods. White-nose syndrome is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate. The ailment is simply known as White-nose Syndrome. White-nose syndrome is considered to be present in the Mammoth Cave System. White Nose Syndrome (WNS), as the scientists came to call this phenomenon, is a caused by a superficial fungus that colonizes on the bat’s skin, particularly on and around the face and wings. White-nose syndrome, a fungus blamed for the deaths of millions of bats across the United States, first showed up in Kentucky in 2011. The disease is named for the white fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, At some affected sites, 90 to 100 percent of bats have disappeared, most succumbing to the disease. White-nose syndrome has been confirmed in 35 states and seven Canadian provinces. A group of researchers met in Pittsburgh to discuss the disease, but "they left without any more solutions with which they arrived," reports the Tribune-Review. It is believed that humans may contribute to the spread of white-nose syndrome by visiting contaminated caves or mines and then wearing the same clothing or carrying the same objects to unaffected caves or mines, transporting spores from one place to the other. (Photo by F&W) By Kevin Kelly The problem was first identified in New York State in 2006, and continues to spread state by state, with the most recent case confirmed April 2011, in Kentucky. Does it affect all bats in North America? White-nose syndrome was first discovered in North America in upstate New York in February 2006, in a cave adjoining a commercial cave visited by 200,000 people per year. White-nose syndrome, a fatal and mysterious disease that is killing bats, has been found in Kentucky, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Biologists have been preparing for the arrival of WNS in Kentucky since it’s 2006 introduction in New … White-nose Syndrome The number one symptom is a white fungus growing on the bat's nose which could also be on the wings, ears and tail. Kentucky Afield catches up with State Bat Ecologist Brooke Hines to get an update on how White Nose Syndrome is effecting bats at Carter Cave.

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