Deadly Fungal Disease Confirmed In Michigan Rattlesnakes

HASTINGS, Mich. (AP) – A group of scientists says eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in three parts of Michigan have been found with a skin disease that can be deadly for the reptiles.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Barry County says genetic analysis was used to determine that five of the snakes from a sampling of 100 have snake fungal disease. It institute is among the sites where infected snakes were found.

Snakes near Grayling and Cassopolis also were found with the fungal disease. It causes swelling, crusty scabs or open wounds.

Researchers are monitoring the disease, which can be carried by a number of snake species.

Scientists in 2013 used diagnostic testing to identify two other cases of snake fungal disease in Michigan. Both snakes died from the disease.

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