- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) - A bat-killing fungus detected in Washington state this year likely originated in Eastern United States and not Europe or Asia.

The U.S. Geological Survey says it remains unclear how white-nose syndrome turned up east of Seattle in March, whether by other bats or human activities. But findings by the USGS and U.S. Forest Service published Wednesday could help wildlife managers monitor the devastating disease.

The discovery of the fungus in a little brown bat near North Bend was the first time it was detected in Western North America. Because the fungus was found near an international port, scientists tried to figure out whether it had roots abroad.

The disease has killed more than 6 million bats in 28 states and Canada since it was first documented nearly a decade ago in New York. It doesn’t affect people or other animals.

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