Health officials in Wellington are on alert for cases of meningococcal disease following the death of a 12-year-old girl.
Amanda Crook-Barker died earlier this week just hours after contracting an illness.
Tests are being carried out to determine whether the Evans Bay Intermediate School student had contracted the disease.
Another two people, both aged under 20, have been hospitalised with the illness over the past fortnight..
Medical officer of health Annette Nesdale says the illness can escalate very quickly and is urging people to be wary.
She says people need to keep an eye on those with flu like symptoms and check in throughout the day to see that they're okay.
"Our greatest sympathy to all of her family and friends, and also to other families and friends in the Wellington region who over previous years have lost young people and family members to this disease which can be truly dreadful."
Amanda Crook-Barker's death is the first fatal case of meningococcal disease in Wellington this year, however there were three fatal cases in the region last year.
There have been a handful of cases of meningococcal disease in Auckland.
Health officials have received notification of five confirmed cases in the last week.
None of those patients has died, and investigations have not established a link between the cases.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Andrew Lindsay wants people showing symptoms of the illness to contact their doctor without delay.
He says even if you or your child has been vaccinated, you're still vulnerable to the disease.