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Mercury poisoning: a diagnostic challenge.

Clinical features of mercury poisoning are nonspecific, and a detailed history is very valuable. The silvery, shiny appearance of mercury makes it very exciting and attractive for children. The overall half-life of elemental mercury in the body averages approximately 2 months. Chelation therapy with dimercaptosuccinic acid is the treatment of choice if the urine or blood level of mercury is high or the symptoms are profound. Here, we describe a 14-year-old boy with fever, respiratory distress, and body rash. Investigation leading to a diagnosis of mercury poisoning was made only after his mother presented with the similar symptoms a few days later.

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