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Bat-Killing Disease Spreads to More States

Tens of thousands of bats have already died this year in a cave on Aeolus Mountain in southern Vermont, according to Scott Darling, a biologist with Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department.
Tens of thousands of bats have already died this year in a cave on Aeolus Mountain in southern Vermont, according to Scott Darling, a biologist with Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department.

A mysterious ailment that is decimating bat colonies in the Northeast has spread more quickly than scientists once believed. "White-nose syndrome," first discovered in 2007, has been confirmed for the first time in New Hampshire and West Virginia. And scientists are investigating suspected sites in Virginia.

Susi von Oettingen, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the disease was confirmed last month in West Virginia, home to some of country's rarest and most diverse bat populations.

Scientists say the spread of white-nose into West Virginia -- and the discovery of suspected sites this week in neighboring Virginia -- means the fungus could ravage cave-dwelling bats across the U.S.

Brian Mann reports for North Country Public Radio.

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