UPDATE: A FIFTH person has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly meningococcal disease, Queensland Health has confirmed.

The Courier-Mail today revealed a fourth child was recovering in hospital after being diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The child from South Brisbane was being treated at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital after presenting with symptoms on New Year's Eve.

It follows confirmation of the diagnosis of three children under the age of five from the same family - two siblings and a cousin - on New Year's Day.

In the fifth - and unrelated - case, an adult is now being treated in far north Queensland.

A Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman said very little was known about the person or their condition at this time because they had only just presented to hospital.

But she said they were being treated and their close contacts would be notified.

EARLIER: A FOURTH child is recovering in hospital after being ­diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

The Courier-Mail reports a South Brisbane boy is being treated at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital for the potentially deadly infection, after presenting to the facility on December 31.

It follows confirmation of the diagnosis of three children under the age of five from the same family - two siblings and a cousin - on New Year's Day.

A Children's Health Queensland spokesman said three of the children were in a stable condition, with the other child, one of the three linked cases, in a serious but stable condition.

He said the fourth case was unrelated to the other three and all of the children were expected to recover.

‘No additional danger’: Doctor Megan Young from the Metro North Public Health Unit.
‘No additional danger’: Doctor Megan Young from the Metro North Public Health Unit. Dr Megan Young

Metro North Hospital and Health Service's public health unit yesterday confirmed three children from Brisbane's north had been diagnosed with meningococcal after falling ill during a family gathering.

The announcement prompted alarm from parents on social media sites after it was revealed the children had visited Brisbane's South Bank on New Year's Eve, where about 90,000 people were estimated to have celebrated.

But public health physician Megan Young said that there was no additional danger to the public.

"The general population is at no increased risk of meningococcal disease subsequent to these three linked cases," she said.

"People should, as always, just be aware of signs and symptoms and if they are concerned that they may be coming down with meningococcal disease, they should see their medical practitioner."

Dr Young said while it was "unusual" for three cases to present to the hospital at once, the children presented with "quite typical symptoms".

She said all those close to the children had now been identified and, where appropriate, were being treated with antibiotics as a precaution.

Health department data shows 42 cases of meningococcal were reported in Queensland between January 1 and December 18 last year, up from 31 in 2015.

The vaccine for only one of the two most common strains, serogroup C, is available for free for one-year-old children under Australia's National Immunisation Program.

The meningococcal B vaccine, Bexsero, isn't funded by the scheme and has been out of stock nationally since ­October.

A Glaxo Smith Kline spokeswoman said yesterday Bexsero was expected to be available again by the end of the month.

Bexsero is not subsidised by the Federal Government, with parents reportedly forking out up to $500 to immunise one child.

Of the 13 strains of the potentially deadly disease, B and C are the most common in Australia.

Dr Young would not comment yesterday about whether Bexsero should be added to the National Immunisation Program.

The latest Australian Meningococcal Surveillance Program annual report found 64 per cent of meningococcal cases analysed in 2015 were B strain.

Health authorities were yesterday unable to confirm which strain of the disease any of the four children had.

Dr Young also declined to reveal whether any of the children were vaccinated against the disease.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to meningococcal, which is believed to claim the life of as many as 10 per cent of those diagnosed.

In November, health experts expressed concern about an increasing number of cases of W strain, previously believed to be rare.

Common symptoms include vomiting, fever, headache, stiff neck, light sensitivity and a red or purple rash.

Meningococcal disease is usually treated with a course of intravenous antibiotics for between five and seven days.