A YOUNG boy is in a stable condition in a Hunter area hospital with the first confirmed case of meningococcal disease in the Hunter New England Health region this year.
The boy is in a stable condition.
In 2012, there were nine confirmed cases of meningococcal disease in the Hunter New England area, 15 in 2011 and 14 in 2010.
Close contacts of the child have been prescribed clearance antibiotics.
Public health physician Dr Tony Merritt said anyone who suspected they had meningococcal disease should seek medical attention immediately.
The first symptoms of meningococcal disease may include pain in the legs, cold hands and feet, and abnormal skin colour.
Later symptoms may include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights, nausea and vomiting, a rash of reddish-purple spots or bruises and drowsiness.