White-Nose Syndrome (WNS)


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White Nose Syndrome
White Nose Syndrome
Shelly Colatskie

Commonly Infected Wildlife


Is This Animal Infected?

Infected bats may exhibit white fungal growth on the muzzle and/or wings, and they often display abnormal behaviors in their hibernation sites (hibernacula) during winter.

Can I Get It?

No. There is no known risk to humans.

How bad can it get?

There is no known risk to humans.

Symptoms in humans

There is no known risk to humans.

Protect Myself and Others

  • People may inadvertently spread the fungus if they visit caves without properly disinfecting their clothes and boots. Disinfect caving gear according to the most recent advisory.
  • Don’t take caving gear that has been used in Missouri to states that are not currently affected by WNS.
  • Stay out of all known hibernacula (bat hibernation sites, including caves) when bats are hibernating (in winter).

Safe for Pets?

Yes. There is no known risk to pets, although companion animals moving between caves could spread the spores to new areas.

What Causes It?

A white fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that infects the skin of hibernating bats. This disease is devastating to bat populations, and no cure is known. Once it appears in a cave, white-nose syndrome often kills more than 90 percent of the bats living in the cave.