People with coughs are being urged to stay away from Gisborne Hospital out of fear of spreading whooping cough to babies.
The Tairawhiti DHB's Medical Officer of Health says he has received less than a dozen notifications of the disease, but suspects there are many more cases in the community.
Bruce Duncan says whooping cough (also known as pertussis) can be fatal to young children, including babies too young to be immunised.
Dr Duncan is asking those with a cough to use their common sense and avoid the hospital.
Only parents and immediate carers are allowed in the neonatal and post-natal wards, he says.