What is Meningitis? Bacterial meningitis is classified as inflammation of the meninges (thin lining that surrounds the brain) with or without the cerebrospinal fluid being involved. It is estimated that over 1.2 million new cases of bacterial meningitis will be reported annually worldwide (CDC). Between 2003-2007 around 4,100 bacterial meningitis cases were reported, within the United States alone (CDC). This life threatening condition has been linked to several causes and requires emergency treatment, if the victim has an opportunity of a good outcome.