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Spreading bat disease prompts call for cave closures

A bat infected with white-nose syndrome. Photo by Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Science organization says human long-distance transmission is possible

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The unchecked spread of white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that’s wiping out bat populations across eastern North America, has prompted a prominent scientific group to call for greater efforts to halt the potential for human spread of the disease.

Closing caves could help prevent a human-transmitted long-distance jump of the disease into a new region, such as the Rockies or the Pacific Northwest, where the disease could push more species to the brink of extinction.

According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the fungus is widespread, and that its spores are probably easily spread by humans. Continue reading

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