The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation releases results on their bat disease surveillance efforts. White-nose syndrome has infected bats in Delaware County, and the fungus that causes the disease has been found in Ottawa County. The disease was first detected in a Delaware County cave in the winter of 2016 and 2017.
White-nose syndrome, a relatively new bat disease, is named for the white fungal growth seen around the nose of an infected bat. The fungal growth caused by the disease irritates the bat, waking them from hibernation when food resources are scarce.
Now, conversationalist are concerned the disease will impact Oklahoma’s bat population and spread to boarding states. The disease was also found this winter in Cherokee County, Kansas, which is adjacent to Ottawa County. Wildlife biologists suggest limiting the public’s access to caves to prevent the spread of the fungus that causes the bat disease.
There are no known human health implications linked to the bat disease at this time.