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Posted Tue Sep 14 2010: from Huffington Post:
Scientists Find Drugs That May Fight White Nose Syndrome
Scientists may have found some ways to help the nation's bats, which are being wiped out by a novel fungal disease. Lab tests show that several drugs can fight the germ and that some antiseptics might help decontaminate areas where bats live or the shoes and hands of people who visit them, researchers reported at an infectious-diseases conference Sunday. "Both of those are critical elements. The decontamination is in my mind the most immediate need," because people may be helping to spread the disease, called white-nose syndrome, said Jeremy Coleman, who heads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's response to the problem.... One type, the little brown bat, "was the most common bat in the Northeast and typically the most common bat in the nation, and they've been just completely decimated," Coleman said. In some areas, "we're down to 3 percent of the original population."... Trying to handle surviving bats for treatment may stress them more than the disease does. And bats' habitats have other important plant and animal life that could be harmed by spraying antiseptics, Coleman said. "You don't want to go in and bomb a cave with an antifungal because you could be impacting other species," he said.
[Read more stories about: white nose syndrome, species restoration]

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