New Jersey Department of Agriculture – Division of Animal Health MEMO: Cumberland County Horse is First to Test Positive for EEE in 2017

A 5-year-old mare from Cumberland County has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The horse was not vaccinated and died on August 28, 2017. This is the first confirmed equine case of EEE in New Jersey this year.

EEE, a viral disease that affects horses’ neurological system is transmitted by mosquito bite. EEE is a serious disease that causes inflammation of the brain tissue and has a significantly higher risk of death in horses than West Nile Virus (WNV) infection. Horse owners are urged to vaccinate their animals from mosquito-borne illnesses such as WNV and EEE because animals that are vaccinated are less likely to contract these deadly diseases. Effective equine vaccines for WNV and EEE have been available for several years.

Late summer and early fall are the prime season for these diseases.  In 2016, 4 cases of equine EEE occurred between mid-August and mid-September. There were no cases of equine WNV in 2016.  For more information about EEE and WNV in horses, visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture web site at:

WNV and EEE, like other viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological systems, must be reported to the state veterinarian within 48 hours, and a neurologic disease worksheet must be completed for each case reported.  The worksheet is available at the following website and once completed can be faxed to the Division.

The NJDA – Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (AHDL) is available to assist with EEE, WNV, and EHV-1 testing. The EEE and WNV testing on neurologic horses is provided at no cost to the submitter as the AHDL receives funding from the State Mosquito Control Commission to perform the testing on New Jersey horses.

EEE ELISA (no charge)
1 ml serum, w/cold pack
PCR (no charge)
1 ml whole blood PTT*/CSF**/brain tissue
2-3 days
WNV PCR (no charge)
Whole blood PTT */CSF**/brain tissue
ELISA (no charge)
1 ml serum, w/cold pack
2-3 days
EHV-1 Neurologic PCR ($50.00)
Whole blood PTT/Nasal swab, brain tissue
EHV-1 SN titer ($15.00)
1 ml serum, w/cold pack
2-4 days

*PTT-purple top tube **spinal fluid

Contact Dr. Amar Patil (609) 406-6999 or via email at

Laboratory specimen(s), along with a laboratory submission form, may be sent to:

(If sent via courier service):NJ Department of Agriculture
Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory
NJPHEAL, 3 Schwarzkopf Drive
Ewing, NJ 08628
(If sent via U.S. Postal Service):NJ Department of Agriculture
Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory
P.O. Box 330
Trenton, NJ 08625


Division of Animal Health
Phone: (609) 671-6400
Fax: (609) 671-6413
Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory
Phone: (609) 406-6999
Fax: (609) 671-6414