Bat disease white-nose syndrome in SC
The S-C Department of Natural Resources recently received confirmation that white-nose syndrome is now officially in South Carolina. It’s a disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America. Until now, South Carolina appeared to be insulated. But, a dead bat discovered recently at Table Rock State Park in northern Pickens County has been confirmed to have white-nose syndrome. The disease spreads mainly through bat-to-bat contact and has not been found to infect humans or other animals. Table Rock State Park staff informed Mary Bunch, DNR wildlife biologist, about what appeared to be a dead bat and asked whether it should undergo testing. The bat was collected February 21, transported on ice, and submitted to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia. There, a fungus that causes the disease was confirmed. Table Rock’s bat colony is in a remote portion of the park and not accessible to the public. According to the DNR, the discovery is not a threat to park visitors’ health and safety and will not have any negative effects on their visits to Table Rock. White nose syndrome has not been confirmed in 21 states and five Canadian provinces.