Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Teen recovering from burns after plant encounter

Report: Va. Tech Freshman Treated for Giant Hogweed Burns A Virginia Teen Suffered Third Degree Burns After Encountering a Giant Hogweed Plant
Samantha Long | 14 July, 2018, 02:09

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said last month the risky hogweed plant was spotted at a private home, and researchers have said the plant is not spreading across the commonwealth widely, according to WWBT.

"Alex continued working throughout the day once he got it on his face", Justin told WTVR.

A Spotsylvania teen is recovering at VCU Medical Center's Evans-Haynes Burn Center after coming into contact with Giant Hogweed.

"We were working outside a factory and I snipped down a bush and it fell and touched my face", Childress said.

In the United Kingdom, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to plant or cause giant hogweed to grow in the wild. "I didn't pay any mind to it because I do it all the time". He ended up with second- and third-degree burns to his face and left arm.

The plant has a flowering head with tiny white flowers, with a hollow stem with a diameter of 2 inches to 4 inches. He said Friday that most of the sightings were unfounded.

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"I'm feeling better", he said. "Standing in the shower and having the water run over an open wound kind of hurts".

"I know my skin will be sensitive to light for a few months", Childress said. Childress was discharged Thursday. "I'm hoping that scholarship will still be available for me", he said.

Jordan Metzgar, curator at the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech, told the Times-Dispatch that giant hogweed have been spotted around Virginia, adding that the plant was not spreading like in NY and other Northern states.

The plant is phytotoxic to humans, meaning when the skin it touches is exposed to sunlight it can cause severe reactions including blistering and burning.

In Virginia, giant hogweed is classified as a Tier 1 noxious weed, requiring that "no person shall move, transport, deliver, ship, or offer for shipment into or within the Commonwealth any noxious weed" without a permit. It has a similar appearance to Queen Anne's lace, but its size sets it apart - it can grow up to 15 feet tall.

Alex Childress, 17, encountered the giant hogweed while on a landscaping job and is being treated in hospital.

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