TWO children are in Rockhampton Hospital with confirmed cases of meningococcal disease.
Queensland Health this afternoon revealed it was investigating three cases of the disease in Gladstone children.
The first child is in a serious but stable condition in Royal Children's Hospital.
Of the two children in Rockhampton Hospital, one is in a serious but stable condition and the other is stable and improving.
Public Health Physician Dr Sonya Bennett said the cases were a timely reminder for the community to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease, but not alarmed.
"All close contacts of the cases have been identified by Queensland Health and offered antibiotics to clear the meningococcal bacteria from anyone who might be carrying it in their nose or throat and prevent them from passing it onto some one else who may develop disease," Dr Bennett said.
"The first child attends a child care centre and the other two children have indirect links to this childcare centre. Because of these indirect links, it is apparent that other children and staff who attend the centre may be carriers of the meningococcal bacteria."
Dr Bennett said public health staff would broaden the group of contacts being offered antibiotics to include all the children and staff at the child care centre.
"We are working closely with the children's child care facility to provide verbal and written information to all families and to provide the antibiotics appropriately, in accordance with national public health guidelines," she said.
"I want to reassure parents that meningococcal disease is not highly infectious and Queensland
Health will make direct contact with those in need of follow up; this is not a community wide outbreak demonstrated by the indirect link between the first case and the second two cases."
Dr Bennett said information about the disease and its symptoms would be provided to all families at the centre, and anyone with concerns is encouraged to call the 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84) hotline.
She said meningococcal disease was a severe but uncommon infection caused by a bacterial germ.
"About 10 per cent of people carry meningococcal bacteria in their throats and noses without having any symptoms," Dr Bennett said.
"The bacteria are spread via droplets from the nose or throat shed during coughing and sneezing, but close and prolonged contact with a carrier is usually needed to become infected," she said.
"It is important to emphasise that this is not a virus, and it does not spread easily.