Virginia teen suffers third-degree burns from Giant Hogweed plant

14 Julio, 2018, 05:35 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Justin Childress said his son had overcome a bad football injury to become successful in track and wrestling at Spotsylvania High School

Alex's mother, a nurse at VCU Medical Center, returned home and determined the 17-year-old's injuries were 2nd to 3rd-degree burns that needed immediate medical attention.

Alex Childress was working a landscaping job clearing vegetation near Spotsylvania on Tuesday when he felt intense burns originally thought to be caused by a sunburn.

His literal brush with what was believed to be the "giant hogweed" plant earlier this week left him with serious burns on his face.

Doctors have discharged a Virginia teenager who received burns from an invasive Giant Hogweed plant.

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, giant hogweed, or Heracleum mantegazzianum, is a federally listed noxious weed that can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness.

"It's a traumatic experience, but Alex is a tough kid", Justin said.

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Alex was given a full-ride scholarship to Virginia Tech with plans to enroll in the Corps of Cadets in the fall.

"He was supposed to move-in this August", Justin stated.

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 plants have been spotted across Virginia this summer.

The NYDEC also offers advice on how to control giant hogweed as the toxic plant can be controlled manually, mechanically, and with herbicides.

The plant has large compound leaves that can grow up to 5 feet wide and white flower heads that can grow up to 2 1/2 feet in diameter.

The plant can easily be mistaken for other harmless plants, such as Queen Anne's Lace and Cow Parsnip.

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