Outdoor warning: beware of exposure to poison ivy - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Outdoor warning: beware of exposure to poison ivy

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This is what exposure to poison ivy looks like. This is what exposure to poison ivy looks like.
This picture is a classic example of someone who rubbed up against the poison ivy vine. This picture is a classic example of someone who rubbed up against the poison ivy vine.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Many people are spending time outdoors. Now, a warning to beware of poison ivy. Experts are seeing a rise in cases because anyone can walk right by the plant and not realize the leaves are full of poison. 

"This is the poison ivy. This is the vine. It grows up the tree but it's very characteristic and hairy. It climbs onto the tree bark," Cleveland Metroparks Jeff Riebe showed.

Riebe knows the infectious plant well, and said there is a reason doctors have been seeing an increase in cases.

"When people are going out after they've been cooped up for months and it's been a rough winter, they do more gardening and people are just more exposed," Riebe said.

Dr Chrissy Alexander from MetroHealth says once the area is infected there isn't a quick cure.

"People try to do things like put alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the area to try and get rid of it; but, the oil has already been absorbed and what you are seeing is your body's reaction to the oil. 

Now is the time that the leaves should be sprouting on the vine.

The best bet to protect against poison ivy is to cover up areas on the body that could be exposed with clothing. If contact is made wash the area immediately. Also, try an antihistamine. A topical ointment can be used to soothe the pain. Make note to avoid scratching the infected area. 

"The reaction can be anywhere from a couple of hours to several days," Alexander pointed out.

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