COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. has reached South Carolina.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said Monday it found a bat that died from white-nose syndrome in February in a remote part of Table Rock Park in the northwest part if the state.
The disease was first found in bats six years ago in New York. South Carolina is the 20th state to record a case. Scientists estimate up to 7 million bats have died, and the disease kills more than 90 percent of the bats it infects.
Scientists say bats play a key role in controlling insect populations, and caves should be closed to the public to keep from spreading the fungus that causes the disease.