The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has reported the first cases of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) in Tennessee caves. White Nose Syndrome is a fungus that has killed thousands of bats in the Eastern U.S. Two bats found hibernating in the popular Worley’s Cave in Sullivan County have tested positive for the disease. Once a colony is affected, the fungus spreads rapidly, resulting in a 95 percent mortality rate. Scientists are still trying to determine the cause of WNS, but preliminary research indicates the fungus could be spreading by humans. Land managers urge people to stay out of caves.
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