The state is closing two campgrounds in Pachaug state Forest after human-biting mosquitoes trapped in the area tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
The mosquitoes were trapped in Voluntown on August 13, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The Mt. Misery campground and Horse Camp, which is also known as Frog Hollow Horse Camp, will be closed as a result.
"Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare but potentially deadly disease that must be taken seriously," said DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty. "Although we understand the inconvenience of having to cancel or change camping plans, the presence of EEE in human-biting mosquitoes so near to these campgrounds leaves us no choice but to close them in order to protect human health."
Bird-biting mosquitoes tested positive for EEE in the same area in July, but the fact that human-biting mosquitoes have been found carrying the virus led officials to make the decision to close the campgrounds.
"Closing these campgrounds for overnight camping at this time is prudent, and anyone spending time in this area during the day is strongly advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites," said Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the Department of Public Health.
Severe cases of EEE infection in humans include a swelling of the brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Sudden onset of headache
- High fever