In the year I 469, fourteen years had passed since Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband in the Dagor Bragollach, and the Eldar had begun to plan their revenge. In that year, a great wind came out of the North that carried with it sickness and disease. This Evil Breath swept across the lands north of Beleriand that bordered Anfauglith, bringing sickness and death to Mortal Men.1
In Dor-lómin, the household of Húrin was struck by the Evil Breath, and Húrin's young son Túrin and his daughter Lalaith were both consumed by the fever that came with it. Túrin survived, but Lalaith (then only three years old) was lost to it; this was the first of many tragedies that would accompany Túrin through his life.
It's not explicitly stated that the Evil Breath only affected only Men, but we know from other sources that Elves were not subject to disease (e.g. '...no sickness may assail you...' from Quenta Silmarillion 9). This implies that the Eldar would have been immune to the Evil Breath, so it seems that Morgoth must have sent it specifically against the Edain.
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