TRENTON — The state Department of Agriculture reminds owners to vaccinate horses after an Atlantic County mare became the state’s second reported case of a serious mosquito-borne illness this year.

The 9-year-old horse had not been vaccinated against eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, for two years, officials with the Department of Agriculture announced in a statement. The horse became ill Sept. 17 and is undergoing treatment.

“Horse owners need to be vigilant in vaccinating their animals against diseases spread by mosquitoes,” Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “Vaccinated animals are much less likely to contract deadly diseases such as EEE and West Nile virus.”

EEE causes inflammation in the brain tissue and is transmitted by mosquito bites. It has a higher risk of death for horses than West Nile infection, the statement said.

On Aug. 28, a 5-year-old, unvaccinated Cumberland County mare died from the state’s first case of EEE this year.

New Jersey had four cases of EEE and zero cases of West Nile in 2016.

For more information about EEE and vaccinating horses against these viruses, see the Department of Agriculture’s website at

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