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This photograph was taken during an investigation in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in Otero County, dealing with a number of cases involving human and porcine methylmercury poisoning. This was one of the boars that was suspected of having been poisoned, for it had been fed grain contaminated with methylmercury-based pesticide, and had become blind. It was determined that hogs fed grains treated with methylmercury dicyanamide (a fungicide), were later butchered, and their meat fed to the hog owners’ family members, who in turn began to exhibit symptoms indicative of mercury poisoning, which included “ataxia, decreased vision, and depression of consciousness, which progressed to coma over a period of 3-weeks”. Subsequent studies on urine specimens from family members, the pork, and the grain seed, all showed results indicative of abnormally high levels of mercury, confirming the diagnosis of organic mercury poisoning.
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CDC/ Dr. William Likosky
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Chemicals and Drugs
Nervous System Diseases
Heavy Metal Poisoning, Nervous System
Mercury Poisoning, Nervous System
Southwestern United States
- This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions.
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