A 7-year-old horse in Cape May County was euthanized Aug. 3, after testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the state Department of Environmental Protection said.

The disease affects the central nervous system and is transmitted to horses by infected mosquitoes. It can be fatal within three days of infection.

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

In 2012, New Jersey had six cases of EEE and four cases of West Nile virus in horses between June and October.

Joel Landau

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.