Parthenium hysterophorus is a species of flowering plant in the aster family. It is a common invasive species in India, Australia and parts of Africa. It invades all land including farms, pastures and roadsides.
It is also called as -
- Santa maria fever few
- White top weed
- congress grass
Contact with Parthenium hysterophorus causes dermatitis and respiratory malfunction in humans due to presence of toxin parthenin.
Signs and Symptoms
a) Dermatitis - following clinical features of dermatitis are seen -
- Erythema (reddish discolouration)
- Fissuring and scaling
- Xerosis (dryness)
- Vesicles and bullae formation
b) Respiratory disorders - Respiratory malfunctions may be seen due to pollen allergy.
- Stomach wash
- topical steroid in an ointment base e.g Beclomethasone dipropionate, Bethamethasone benzoate, Clobetasol propionate, Dexamenthasone trimethyl-acetate etc.
- Local application of calamine lotion.
- Antihustamines like levocetirizine hydrochloride in dosage of 5 mg once a day.
- Systemic steroids such as prednisolone 5-60 mg in divided doses.
Parthenium hysterophorus is generally not fatal.
- It is not commonly used for homicidal and suicidal purposes
- Cattle poisoning
- It can be used to affect crop production.