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SH07F234DIYGARDENER June 25, 2007 -- Poison ivy is not contagious from person to person. It is only spread by direct contact, but that may include secondary contact (the most common way) -- for example, petting an animal that has the oil on its coat. Although the old expression "leaves of three, leave them be" is good advice, in that poison ivy has three leaves, keep in mind that poison oak has three to five and sumac has seven to 13. (SHNS photo courtesy Courtenay Vanderbilt)

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