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This photograph was taken during an investigation that took place in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in Otero County, dealing with a number of cases involving human and porcine methylmercury poisoning. This particular view depicted a hog yard in which contaminated hogs were penned, and a number of horses are seen prancing around, off to the left, outside the confines of the pen. 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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