White Nose Syndrome in Humans?

Garden Variety was pleased to learn that Congress has approved $1.9 million in federal funding for research to identify the cause and seek solutions to the "white-nose syndrome" that is devastating bat populations in the Northeast.
This is on top of the $500,000 that had already been allocated for monitoring the mysterious disease, which has 90 percent mortality rates in some places.
These White Nose Syndrome seems dangerous, can it also affect humans? Or is it only bats?

asked by Point in Other - Pets & Animals | 2867 views | 11-03-2009 at 08:01 PM

The White Nose Syndrome does not appear to harm humans - or wildlife other than bats.

To prevent the spread of the fungus that appears to be killing so many hibernating bats, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking people in affected states and states adjacent, which includes Kentucky, to stay out of caves for fear that humans might spread the disease further.

It is believed that humans may contribute to the spread of WNS by visiting contaminated caves or mines and then wearing the same clothing or carrying the same objects to unaffected caves or mines, transporting spores from one place to the other. You can help us save bats by following these simple guidelines:

* Do not wear any shoes that have been in a cave or mine outside of the four-county Mammoth Cave area (Barren, Hart, Warren or Edmonson Counties) within the last five years or be prepared to sanitize your shoes before going into the cave. This involves a short 5-10 minute process.
* Do not wear any clothing, or carry any objects into Mammoth Cave that you wore or carried with you in any cave or mine outside the four-county area in the last five years. Please leave any potentially contaminated objects at home or in your vehicle.
* You will not be allowed to go on the tour with clothing or items that have been in affected caves or mines. Your compliance is essential in this regard.
* If you have questions, please visit the White-Nose Station at the Visitor Center. A ranger there will be happy to assist you.

answered by Late | 11-03-2009 at 08:05 PM

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