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Deadly Bat Fungus in Missouri, Farthest West Yet

A disease that has killed millions of bats across multiple states and Canada has been found in Missouri, marking its advent west of the Mississippi River and spelling possible trouble for agriculture in the region, officials said Monday.

White nose syndrome has been confirmed in three bats in two caves in Lincoln County, north of St. Louis, the Missouri Department of Conservation said. The name describes a white fungus found on the faces and wings of infected bats and has not been found to infect humans or other animals. Scientists estimate the ailment has killed at least 5.7 million bats in 16 states and Canada.

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