Bat-killing fungus confirmed in 3 more Illinois counties

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois wildlife officials say a fungal disease that’s killed millions of bats in the U.S. has turned up in Adams, Carroll and Pike counties.

That brings to 11 the number of counties where white-nose syndrome has been confirmed since it was first found in Illinois two years ago.

Named for the white fungus that appears on the animals’ noses, the disease was first detected in New York in 2006. It’s extremely lethal, killing 90 percent or more of hibernating bats in some caves.

White-nose syndrome was discovered in Illinois in 2013 in Hardin, LaSalle, Monroe and Pope counties. It was found in Jackson, Johnson, Saline and Union counties earlier this year.

The DNR has closed all caves it owns or manages to prevent people from transferring the disease between caves.