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BAT CAVE, N.C. (AP) -- A bat-killing disease which has spread across western North Carolina has been detected in another county.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (http://avlne.ws/14Hl1DF ) the first case of white-nose syndrome in Rutherford County has been confirmed at the Nature Conservancy Bat Cave Preserve.

Investigators found the bat on March 12 and shipped it to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia in Athens, which confirmed the disease.

Nature Conservancy spokeswoman Debbie Crane said the caves will remain closed until further notice.

Sue Cameron of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says six other counties have now reported infected bats. In addition to Rutherford County, the syndrome has been reported in Avery, Buncombe, McDowell, Haywood, Yancey and Transylvania counties. It's also suspected in Swain County.

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