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3 cases of deadly bat fungus in Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri conservationists say the state has its first confirmed cases of white-nose syndrome, a fatal bat-to-bat disease that has killed more than 5 million bats around the country.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said Monday that white-nose syndrome has been confirmed in three bats from two caves in Lincoln County in eastern Missouri. The name describes a white fungus found on the faces and wings of infected bats.

The conservation department said the disease has not been found to infect humans or other animals. Scientists estimate the fungal ailment has killed at least 5.7 million bats in 16 states and Canada.

White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that prompts bats to wake from their winter hibernation and die after they fly into the cold air searching for insects.

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