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State officials fear spread of bat disease

Published On: Jun 13 2012 05:48:49 PM CDT
Bat fangs

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MADISON, Wis. -

Wisconsin officials are urging cavers to avoid spreading a disease that is deadly to bats.

The fungus that causes white nose syndrome was detected on a bat at Maquoketa Caves State Park in northwest Iowa, just 30 miles from Wisconsin.

Officials are urging people to take precautions to avoid spreading the fungus when visiting caves or other underground sites in and around Wisconsin.

The Department of Natural Resources has special decontamination steps required for cavers traveling with their gear between sites in Wisconsin. Both recreational cavers and tourists at caves and mines are not allowed to bring any gear or clothing into Wisconsin after it has been used in a cave outside of the state.

No signs of the fungus or disease were found in Wisconsin earlier this year.

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