Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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Pimientos Could Be an Influenza Cure

It was reported on October 29, 1918, that employees of the Curtis Corporation, a tuna cannery in Long Beach, California, had been rendered immune to influenza. Why? Simply because they had been exposed to the odor of pimientos, a sweet flavored pepper with a very mild heat. 

It was said that scientists had begun experiments to produce an effective anti-toxin from the pimientos. The article indicated that studies were underway to determine whether the eating of pimiento peppers could prevent the influenza.

The Red Cross Emergency Ambulance station of the District of Columbia Chapter is usually a busy place. But during the influenza epidemic of the autumn of 1918, it was worked overtime. Library of Congress image.

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