An example of something that can afflict a person is cancer.
Origin of afflict
- Middle English afflighten from afflight disturbed, frightened from Latin afflīctum past participle of afflīgere to cast down ad- ad- flīgere to strike
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare (“to damage, harass, torment”), frequentative of affligere (“to dash down, overthrow”).