Teen recovering from burns after plant encounter

Postado Julho 14, 2018

The Giant Hogweed plant cannot only pose a threat to your skin, but it can also impact the environment.

When Alex Childress, 17, of Spotsylvania initially felt intense pain on his face while working as a landscaper, he assumed he'd gotten sunburned, according to WTVR.

Alex came into contact with the potentially risky Hogweed plant while working a gardening job.

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.

With third degree burns on his face and arms, Childress became the first patient to be treated at the Virginia Commonwealth University medical center for an injury caused by the toxic giant hogweed plant, the hospital told WWBT.

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

Alex was given a full-ride scholarship to Virginia Tech with plans to enroll in the Corps of Cadets later this year. "But that may have to be deferred at this point until Alex can get a medical waiver from his doctor as far as physical activity".

The plant's hollow stems are generally two to four inches in diameter, with dark purple and red raised spots and bristle-like hairs.

The Giant Hogweed plant cannot only pose a threat to your skin, but it can also impact the environment.

With the presence of the giant hogweed plant in Virginia, officials asked anyone who spotted one of these plants to file an invasive species report.

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

The Childress family has set up a GoFundMe page to help in Alex's recovery.