Four people have died and nearly 40 cases have been reported of the contagious disease in NSW so far this year, compared with 27 cases and zero during the same period last year.
The organisation’s director of communicable diseases, Vicky Sheppeard, on Thursday urged anyone with symptoms of meningococcal disease to go to their doctor immediately.
Symptoms include fever, cold hands and feet, limb pain, nausea, dislike of bright light and a rash, but they may not all happen at once.
Meningococcal cases are more prevalent late winter and early spring, Dr Sheppeard said..
“Most cases occur among infants, young children, teenagers and young adults although people of any age can be infected,” Dr Sheppeard said.
“Meningococcal disease can be very severe, and people infected with it can become extremely unwell within hours of the first symptoms appearing so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms.”
She warned that common vaccines only cover some strands of the disease, so even those who have been vaccinated should be on the look out.