Skip directly to site content
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC twenty four seven. Saving Lives, Protecting People
For a full list of topics:
Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
This 1970 photograph was created 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. Here, we see a public health investigator in the process of examining a penned hog suspected of having consumed feed, contaminated with methylmercury. It was determined during the study that a hog, fed grains treated with methylmercury dicyanamide (a fungicide), was later butchered, and its meat was fed to the hog owner’s 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 the affected 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.
Click here for hi-resolution image (18.35 MB)
CDC/ Dr. William Likowsky
Skip Navigation Links.
Skip Navigation Links.
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.
Add to My Pictures
What's New in PHIL
Health Care Providers
Public Relations / Communications
Teachers & Trainers
Photo Librarians & Researchers
Public Health Practitioners
Image ID Search
Get Email Updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
Exit Notification / Disclaimer Policy
Links with this icon
indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website.
For more information on CDC's web notification policies, see