March 9, 2014
State biologists are asking people to stay out of caves after tests confirmed the presence of a fungus that's killing bats.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says bats from Breathing Cave in Bath County and Clover Hollow Cave in Giles County tested positive for "white-nose syndrome."
The disease is named for a fungus that's led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of bats in the northeastern United States.
The state agency has closed caves on its wildlife-management areas.
Federal wildlife officials say there have been no reports of human illnesses attributable to the fungus. But until more is known about what role humans have in spreading the disease among bats, officials are urging people to refrain from caving.