A child is in Palmerston North Hospital suffering from meningococcal disease and others who might have been in contact with the patient are being followed up by health authorities.
The MidCentral District Health Board confirmed to the Herald today that there had been a case of the disease.
It did not, however, answer questions on the person's age and gender and how sick they are.
But Evolve Education general manager Kirsten Long confirmed a child from the organisation's Palmerston North Centre had been admitted to hospital with the disease on Tuesday.
She said the child had not been at the centre since Friday and all the parents had been made aware of the situation.
A medical officer of health at the DHB, Dr Rob Weir, said it would be some time before it was known whether the case had the W strain of meningococcal disease.
So-called Men W is causing an outbreak in Northland, where the Government is paying for teenagers and children aged 9 months to under 5 years to be vaccinated against the disease.
"This is the fourth case for the year in the MidCentral DHB area; the first three were not serogroup W," said Weir.
Sixteen-year-old Dion Hodder, of Kerikeri, died at Auckland City Hospital in October after falling ill with meningococcal disease at a St John youth camp on Motutapu Island.
Another Northland youngster, Alexis Albert, 7, died of the disease in Starship children's hospital, after becoming sick in July.
The Ministry of Health said, when the Northland vaccination programme began last week, that there had been 109 cases of meningococcal disease in New Zealand this year, to the end of last month. Twenty-nine cases had been W-strain, including seven in Northland.
"The Men W strain is the cause of 29 per cent of meningococcal cases. Overall, 10 people have died. Six deaths were due to meningococcal W – three of those people were in Northland.
"Last year, there were 12 cases of meningococcal W in New Zealand, including only one in Northland, and three deaths. In total, there were 94 cases of meningococcal disease last year. Meningococcal W accounted for 11 per cent of cases."
Weir said meningococcal disease was caused when bacteria living in the nose or throat entered the bloodstream. This can cause meningitis or blood poisoning.
"The bug is spread through close contact, such as living in the same household.
"You can help stop meningococcal disease from spreading by covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Good hand washing is also very important.
"Meningococcal vaccination is recommended for people who have had or are having their spleen removed. Vaccination is also recommended for young people moving to hostels, military recruits and people with an increased risk of invasive disease - including people with sickle cell anaemia or HIV infection."
He said meningococcal disease could be difficult to diagnose because it could look like other illnesses such as influenza. It had a range of symptoms including fever, headache, dislike of light, vomiting, a rash that did not fade when pressed, confusion and sleepiness.
Anyone with those symptoms should seek urgent medical attention, he said. Early treatment was extremely important.
People who were concerned or confused about symptoms should seek medical advice straight away. Healthline could be called on 0800 611 116 at any time.
Weir said that even if someone had seen a doctor and gone home, but remained concerned, they should not hesitate to call their doctor again or seek further medical advice.