Va. Bat Species Likely Infected with Fungal Disease

July 6, 2010

A sick bat found in the Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield has tested positive for a disease that has killed more than 1 million bats.

Biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries say it is the first case of white-nose syndrome in a bat species found only a few counties in southeast Virginia.

Testing done at a national wildlife center concluded the bat was "likely" infected with white-nose.

Biologists say the likely finding adds the species to a growing list of bats and extends the potential spread of the disease.

It's widely believed that the fungus thrives in cold, damp hibernation caves.

White-nose has been detected in nine states since it was first noticed in upstate New York in 2006.

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