An elderly woman is fighting for life in a Hunter hospital suffering from meningococcal disease.
Hunter New England Health reports the 70 year old is in a critical condition.
It's the first confirmed case of the potentially-deadly disease locally so far this year.
There were 18 cases in the Hunter-New England area in 2017, the highest number in several years.
For information on symptoms and prevention click here.
**When reporting on meningococcal disease cases, HNEH doesn't provide the name of the hospital.