Poison ivy is becoming a bigger problem in the United States despite the fact that the number of affected individuals and cases haven’t changed all that much in the past 15 years.
The itchy rash that coming in contact with the plant creates can last for anywhere from one to three weeks and in cases where the victim is highly allergic, it can lead to a trip to the hospital. Justin Shifflett was quoted by ABC27 as having explained his own allergic reaction to the plant entails a breakout before “it spreads like rapid fire all over” his body.
Even with the danger associated with coming in contact with poison ivy, only one in four victims will be affected when exposed. Urshiol oil coming in contact with the skin is how the infection starts. Touching the plant doesn’t cause an infection, and as Dr. David Adams of Pennsylvania State University at Hershey was quoted by CTV News as having said, “You have to actually break the leaves, stem or root to get the urushiol oil on you.”
What happens is that people buy a live Christmas tree, and there are dead vines on it that they rip off, not knowing what they are (…) The urushiol oil inside is still viable.
One good deterrent when it comes to preventing infection entails wearing long sleeves and shirts. If you have a long haired animal with you while you’re out, they won’t be affected, but they can transfer the urushoil to you so be sure to bathe pets after they return from being outside, as doing so will help prevent infection. The same is true for clothes.
The visual effects of having poison ivy aren’t immediate and the rash can take up to two days to appear while the symptoms can take as long as ten days.
Lastly, burning poison ivy just releases oil into the air and after contact, it can be just as harmful as if it had been rubbed directly on the skin.
In other news, GM recalled some Chevrolet Volts because of carbon monoxide risk attributed to a software glitch.