Doctors, emergency departments and the general public are being exalted to be on high alert after an increase in the number of people who contract potentially fatal meningococcal disease.
So far, this year six people have died out of a new MenW line – and three of them were from Northland.
The Ministry of Health has warned doctors and emergency departments this week to act quickly if people presented possible symptoms of meningococcal disease.
The public is also told to become familiar with the symptoms, which can initially appear as flu symptoms. Those with possible symptoms should immediately seek medical attention.
Director of Public Health Doctor Caroline McElnay said that the number of cases of meningococcal disease has increased steadily in the past in the last five years.
So far, this year there have been 96 cases and there are 112 cases last year. In 2014, there were only 45 cases.
Meningococcal disease had two strains and, although group B is the most common type, there was a strong increase in the W group (MenW) in the last year.
"We are anxious to encourage everyone to get acquainted with the most frequent symptoms of this unpleasant illness because quick action can help save lives. Meningococcal disease can move very fast and other diseases may appear, for example, a flu-like illness."
The warning comes when Northland District Health Board warns people about a certain tension, MenW, which has high mortality and affects all age groups and is affecting Northland the worst.
So far, this year there were seven cases and three people were killed in Northland. There have been 24 cases, up to now, and six deaths.
Northland DHB medical health doctor Dr. José M Ortega said that a symptom of MenW's cord may also be gastrointestinal symptoms.
"It can be difficult to diagnose because it may seem like other diseases. It is spread through close intimate contact with others. Those who live and sleep in the same house are someone who is suffering from meningococcal disease at greater risk."
"The key message is" if your child or family member is ill, take them to the doctor. ""
The disease could be treated with antibiotics if it was detected enough.
Vaccines to protect against different groups of meningococcal diseases – A, C, Y and W – are available at a cost.