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Poison Ivy Prevention

Updated: Friday, December 6 2013, 11:25 AM EST
If you're a hunter, hiker, or lawn care worker take note.  The chill in the air won't necessarily kill some poisonous plants, like poison ivy.

As News 13's Jay Siltzer reports, it's as strong as ever and  more difficult to recognize.

It's a huge danger outdoors this time of year you probably never think about: Poison ivy.

Dr. Teresa Bradley, Park Ridge Family Medicine, "it could just be the root of it where it looks hairy and furry and may go up a tree."

Charlie Cutler, outdoorsman, "it seems dried up; it does change color and you think it's dead."

Though the poison ivy leaves have been killed by frost, the potency of the plant and its oils are alive and well when contact is made with the skin.

Dr. Bradley, "the reaction can start within a couple of hours up to 3 days later. Initially it may start with itching and red bumps and spread all over the body."

Cutler, "I've got it in my eyes before. I've had full-body poison ivy and it is miserable."

Dr. Bradley, "we've seen people that are very swollen and sometimes have to go the hospital and get an injection of a medication."

Typically that's a steroid aimed at reducing potentially life-threatening inflammation especially in the throat.

Still, doctors say the best medicine is prevention by avoiding contact in the first place. Poison Ivy Prevention

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