White Nose Syndrome – Symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis

What Is White Nose Syndrome?


White Nose Syndrome or WNS is an ailment that commonly affects those of the bats that originates at the Northern side of the United States. The number of bats that has been plagued by the said disease is spreading out like fire and an approximation of over millions of bats have already been killed during their hibernation. It has been caused by the fungus that is known as Geomyces Destructans or presently known as Pseudogymnoascus Destructans. What makes the fungus very deadly is that it distresses bats to the extent that they pretty much use up their fat reserves that play a vital role to withstand their well-being during the period of hibernation.

white nose syndrome in bats


According to research, the fungus is said to prosper and increase its influence in bats during conditions such as winter and in summer settings specifically, the humid season. This fungus affects bats that live inside the caves or possibly even in mines but they do not show any abnormal fungal development. Instead, changes in behavior in bats are perceptible.

Symptoms of White Nose Syndrome

It has been observed that many bats are generally found dead inside or outside the caves and mines after losing all their fat reserves. Some parts of the bats’ body that is affected by the fungus naturally involve their wings and their noses as well. Thus, the fungus gives them a white and an indistinct presence of exterior look. However, the most corporate symptoms that can be seen in bats are through their manners and activities. The following entails the minimal changes in behavior in bats:

  • Bats are known to fly and go out from caves and mines during the night but for some reason, they usually go outside in the morning.
  • Despite the fact that it may seem freezing outside, they usually roam around and do activities.
  • Bats that are very near to their death can be seen flocking their way through the environment and resting not in caves, but on trees.

Aside from this, the funguses also do not pass the time and invades their skin tissues too. It causes great damage which makes them weaker by the minute and skinnier compared to other bats that are healthy. Their wings cannot also be used because the fungus has already left it broken. The normal circulation of the body as well as its facility to keep its thermo regulation has been impaired too. What makes their death faster is their powerlessness to keep gas exchange in their body to circulate normally and leaves them dehydrated.

Treatment of White Nose Syndrome


There are already many debates about how White Nose Syndrome that naturally only harm bats can also has the chance to have a negative health impact to humans. What is highly recognized though is that humans can contribute as to how the fungus spreads. Thus, treatment for White Nose Syndrome also includes guidelines and procedures to help bats. This includes:

  • Soak all clothing that has been used in going to caves and mines into the hottest waters possible. Keep them well dried.
  • If the shoes or boots have already been used for a long period of time when going to caves, be certain to purchase a new one when going into another cave or mine.
  • Product selections when it comes to disinfectants are endless in the market. Choose one and make sure that every tools and utensils that has been carried around in caves and mines are drenched into it.
  • If some clothing and materials have already been casted off during the last time in visiting the cave, be sure to leave it and buy another one.

No information about humans being afflicted with the said fungus have been reported.

Prognosis of White Nose Syndrome


Bats are considered to be one of the exotic and supernatural kinds of animal that still remains in the forest. The foreseeable prediction for bats that are located in the North Eastern part of the United States remains to be poor. Nevertheless, according to researchers they have already found a method on how to assist and support these helpless and abandoned creatures that are anguishing so much and being devoured by the fungus. There is still hope to alleviate and suppress the negative outcome that bats have been dealing with for all these years and bats that are far from the United States can without a doubt ensure to live normally and avert transience.


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