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Hogweed hazard?

The invasive species Giant Hogweed, which has become infamous in recent months for its ability to cause burns, blistering, scars and even blindness, may have found its way into Mathews.

Lee Mitchem, a landscaping professional in the county, believes he came in contact with the plant doing a job on Gwynn’s Island. 

Mitchem woke up on July 3 with burns on his stomach and face. “I am positive I came into contact with a Giant Hogweed plant,” he said.

The resident of Susan described how the handles of his 

Z-Trak mower came into contact with a four-foot-tall white flowering plant while cutting a path through a dense area.

He then wiped his forehead with the bottom of his shirt and by the next day had burns in both areas.

According to the landscaper, who has no plant allergies, the reaction occurred overnight with seemingly no other cause, leading him to believe he had come into contact with the plant while working on the jobsite off Gwynnville Road.


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