According to the Missouri Caves Association, Missouri and Arkansas' cave attractions will remain open despite the threat of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bats. The spread of WNS has been rapid and has been found in bats in Missouri. The disease contributes to a high mortality rate among bats at infected sites. Bats are beneficial to the ecology in their control of many insects. The animals also assist in the pollination of fruit crops. Humans are not affected by WNS.
As a precautionary measure, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the National Park Service have closed access to the "wild" caves within their control as human contact with bats and their environment can help spread the disease.