Alex Childress, who lives in the Fredericksburg area, suffered the second- and third-degree burns after the plant touched his body when he discarded it while on a summer landscaping summer job, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Using loppers, the teen chopped the plant down and threw it into the woods, but the plant brushed across his face as he was discarding it.
Giant hogweed sap essentially prevents your skin from properly protecting itself against sunlight, causing your skin to start burning in as little as 15 minutes after contact. This, in combination with sun exposure, can cause third degree burns and permanent blindness.
DEA / C. SAPPA via Getty Images Giant hogweed in France.More news: Machado won’t let trade talk diminish his fun as All-Star
Childress's mother said they were discharged from the hospital at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
"When he got home, he got into the shower and the skin on his face was basically peeling away and peeling off", Justin said.
Childress continued working through the pain and didn't realize the intensity of the burns until he returned home in the evening. Though he's set to recover, it could be a frustratingly long process. "I am always helping other people whenever and wherever I can, but now I am in need of help". "My face could be sensitive to light for a year up to two years".
Alex was given a full-ride scholarship to Virginia Tech with plans to enroll in the Corps of Cadets in the fall.
Metzgar says there's no sign hogweed is spreading, as in colder climates.More news: Meghan Markle's Dad Says She Looks 'Terrified' and He's anxious
A Virginia teenager was rushed to the hospital after touching a giant hogweed plant while working at his summer job. CBS News describes the plant as having "large clusters of white flowers [that grace] the top ... in an umbrella pattern".
Dan Kraus, a biologist with the conservancy, said the invasive Asian species likely arrived in Canada in the 1940s and can now be found in areas of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, and has been spreading in southern Ontario and southern B.C.
The NYDEC also offers advice on how to control giant hogweed as the toxic plant can be controlled manually, mechanically, and with herbicides. One plant can produce thousands of seeds and they can stay in the ground for years before germinating.
Corey Childs, an extension agent in the northern Shenandoah Valley housed in Warren County, visited the Clarke County site Monday to collect Giant Hogweed samples for the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech.More news: Airbus Gets Off To Flyer With $27bn Farnborough Orders