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In China, the bat is a symbol of happiness and joy. To Native Americans, they represent diligence, wisdom, death and rebirth. In pop culture, they’re associated with vampires, coffins and sucking blood.

But bats play an important ecological role in keeping insects, like mosquitoes, in check. And a disease ravaging bats has just been detected east of the Cascades, as Marcus Bellissimo reports.

You can report finding sick or dead bats or bat sightings to the State Fish & Wildlife Dept.

Photo: Scientists use UV light to detect possible white-nose syndrome infections. Bats with white-nose syndrome usually have an orange glow on their wings. Credit: Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Wildlife Center

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