According to state and federal wildife officials, a bat-killing disease called white-nose syndrome has been discovered in two more Washington counties. The Skagit Valley Herald reported this week, infected droppings were found in Chelan and Snohomish counties. White-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats since it was first discovered on the East Coast of the U.S. in 2006.
The syndrome is caused by a fungus and often kills hibernating bats. White discoloration on bat noses is a telltale sign of infection. The disease does not affect humans or any other species. The state wildlife agency has said bats benefit humans by eating insects that can negatively affect forest health and livestock.
Samples collected from known Washington bat-dwelling areas are being sent to the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin for testing.
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