More Mo. bats diagnosed with deadly disease

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four more cases of deadly white-nose syndrome have turned up in bats in eastern Missouri.

The state Conservation Department says the disease was recently confirmed in a tri-colored bat and a little brown bat found in a public cave in Washington County.

A little brown bat and a northern long-eared bat, found in two separate public caves in Franklin County, also had white-nose syndrome.

White-nose syndrome does not infect people, pets or livestock but is estimated to have killed 5.5 million cave-dwelling bats nationwide since it first was detected in 2006.

It's caused by a fungus and spreads largely among bats and by human clothing and equipment in caves.

Signs of the disease or the fungus have now been confirmed in 19 bats, all in eastern Missouri, since 2010.

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