Meningitis is most often caused by infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal), but can also be produced by chemical irritation, subarachnoid haemorrhage, cancer and other conditions.
Meningococcal meningitis is endemic in Asia, with sporadic cases and small clusters from time to time. However, there have been no large outbreaks in recent years. Large epidemics occur with regular cycles across parts of Africa. Sporadic cases or small clusters also occur in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.