The latest victim of an outbreak of meningococcal disease in Northland showed no signs that would justify his admission to hospital, a medical centre which first saw him says.

Ben Brown, 18, died in Whangarei Hospital at the weekend after earlier being sent home twice by medical staff with medication.

He visited the White Cross Medical Centre in Kamo, Whangarei, last Tuesday. His symptoms included vomiting, a severe headache and he had a slight rash. He was told if he did not improve he should go to the hospital accident and emergency department.

The next day he went to the A and E department but was sent home again with medication.

Hours later when his condition deteriorated he was rushed back to the hospital in an ambulance.

He fell into a coma and died on Saturday.

White Cross clinical manager Jackie Westcott said Mr Brown's death was "pretty grim" but there was little they could have been done as the disease presented in so many different ways.

"There are so many people who are sick at the moment. Any of them could have meningitis. It is a very hard disease to diagnose."

She said Mr Brown was unwell when he arrived last Tuesday and was given medication and advice by a doctor to go to the A and E department if he did not get better.

"There was nothing at the time that suggested he needed to be sent to the hospital straight away but the advice is always to go to the hospital if they are not getting better, which he did."

Brown's death came a week after a 14-month-old Northland toddler died at Starship Hospital of the disease.

The teenager's father, Darren Brown, said the family was distraught and felt the health system had let them down. He has asked the coroner to investigate why his son was sent home twice by medical professionals.

"I'm so absolutely gutted, I wouldn't want any parent to go through this," he said.

Ben, who recently started work as a plumber, was too sick to go to work on August 22.

"It was so hard to see him lying there, he didn't have a scratch on him yet there is this thing inside him that is killing him."

Mr Brown said the outcome would almost certainly have been different if his son had been diagnosed earlier.

Health professionals should have had their "eyes wide open" for symptoms, he said.

"We feel absolutely let down. My advice to anybody is that if you are unhappy with a medical assessment then don't leave."

Mr Brown said the family wanted to warn others about the deadly disease.

"I think the biggest thing is that this vicious disease is very real, it's out there and people need to be aware of it."

Yesterday, Mr Brown and other family members and friends visited the Whangarei skate park where Ben, an accomplished freestyle BMX rider, honed his skills.

A group of friends had spray-painted "RIP Ben Brown" on a wall, he said.

Maungakaramea's premier Women's Hockey team also played with black armbands on Saturday to mark his passing.

Ben's girlfriend was a member of the team.

A spokeswoman for the Northland District Health Board last night said she was not aware of the details of the case so could not comment. No one could be contacted at White Cross medical centre to comment last night.

Earlier in the day, Northland Medical Officer of Health Loek Henneveld said close contacts of the teenager had been given advice and preventative treatment.

"This is the fourth case in Northland following three cases identified earlier this month, adding to a total of six cases identified this year," he said.

He was awaiting results of a laboratory test to confirm the strain but it appeared the case did not have any links to the other meningococcal cases in Northland or the rest of New Zealand, he said.

On August 20, 14-month-old Jacob Whyte died at Starship Hospital after a two-week battle with strain C of the deadly disease.

Tests were being carried out to check if there was a link between the death of the child and the death of a relative, Josie Howe, of Auckland, who died on August 19, four days after visiting him. Northland District Health Board medical officer of health Clair Mills said until the results were available it was not possible to say whether those deaths were connected.