The April Fool Archive

Contagious Health    (April Fool's Day - 1931)

The Los Angeles Times ran a front-page "exclusive" reporting that Hamburg scientist Dr. Eugene Lirpa had discovered good health to be caused by a bacteria, "Bacillus sanitatis." Sick people were lacking this "germ of health," but they could be cured simply by breathing in the same air as healthy people.

This story appears to be the only time the LA Times ever perpetrated an April Fool hoax.

Just Breathe Same Air as Persons Physically Fit, He Advises

BERLIN, March 31.
(Exclusive) — A Hamburg professor, Dr. Eugene Lirpa, asserts he has discovered a "germ of health" destined to revolutionize the Steinach and other old-fashioned methods of rejuvenation.

"Bacillus sanitatis," described as belonging to the staphylococcus class, present in every human body, can be established bacteriologically, he asserts.

Dr. Lirpa says that many cures of diseases have been effected through the mere breathing of the same air as humans charged with healthy bacilli, coming to the conclusion that health is "contagious." A Berlin professor, asked his opinion on the matter tonight, pointed out that this is the eve of April fool's day and that he is skeptical. But Dr. Lirpa emphatically states that Calmette and Steinach have invited him into conference.

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