ADJ. major | widespread, worldwide | cholera, flu, typhoid, etc.
EPIDEMIC + VERB break out, strike (sth) A typhus epidemic struck in the winter of 1919?20. | spread, sweep (sth) the flu epidemic sweeping the country
PREP. during/in an/the ~ Over fifty people died during the flu epidemic last winter. | ~ of an epidemic of cholera
PHRASES reach epidemic proportions Marriage breakdown in the West has reached epidemic proportions.