A sudden increase in something, as the occurrence of a disease
In 1888 there was an epidemic of yellow fever.
In 1903 the city was devastated by an epidemic of plague.
"Poor Rev. Martin died in a flu epidemic in '04," Fred said, his voice sounding duly respectful.
An epidemic of a fatal character had ruined the French silk producers.
The health of the city of Hamburg and the adjoining district may be described as generally good, no epidemic diseases having recently appeared to any serious degree.