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Bats in Northeast have mysterious syndrome

Thousands of bats in the Northeastern United States are catching a mysterious illness known as white nose syndrome, reported the BBC.

Little is known about the syndrome, which causes small, white, fungal spots around the mouth and nose of bats. At this point it cannot even be categorized as a disease.

The syndrome has awoken the bats prematurely from hibernations, causing them to search for insects that have yet to reappear from winter.

Biologists and conservationists are concerned. It is possible bats will develop immunities to the syndrome, but it is not guaranteed.

Alan Hicks, a government conservationist, was the first to spot the syndrome on bats in New York last year. He said the discovery is just one more environmental alarm bell.