State reopening parts of Pachaug State Forest

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reopening the areas of Pachaug State Forest that were closed on Aug. 27 due to the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in human-biting mosquitoes, the agency announced today.

The Mt. Misery campground and the nearby Horse Camp also known as the Frog Hollow Horse Camp will remain closed until further notice.

The decision to reopen these areas of the forest was made based on reductions in both the numbers of mosquitoes trapped and the virus activity in those mosquitoes as determined by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and in consultation with CAES and the Department of Public Health, DEEP said in a news release.

On Aug. 21, DEEP closed two Pachaug campgrounds because the EEE virus was detected in human-biting mosquitoes. On Aug. 27, a larger area of the forest, commonly known as the Mt. Misery or Chapman area, was closed and the state conducted ultra low-volume ground spraying in the area to reduce the number of mosquitoes.

“Our most recent trap collections have shown a significant decline in mosquito populations in the affected area as a result of the ground spraying and current weather conditions,” Dr. Theodore Andreadis, chief medical entomologist at CAES, said. “Although we continue to detect low levels of EEE virus activity in some mosquitoes, we do not anticipate any further build-up in the coming weeks."

Signs remain posted in this portion of the forest and visitors are cautioned to continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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