March 7, 2019 -- A Chicago man who got the measles three years ago because he wasn't vaccinated as a child says parents have no excuse for not getting their children vaccinated.
Joshua Nerius, a 30-year-old software product manager in Chicago, contracted the measles in May 2016 at his sister's graduation from that Northern Illinois University College of Business, CNN reported.
Health officials later determined that a guest who traveled to the graduation from outside the United States had the highly contagious disease.
Doctors asked Nerius if he'd been vaccinated against measles as a child. He didn't know, so he texted his mother, who replied with a thumbs-down emoji, CNN reported.
Nerius ended up in an isolation room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and at one point became so weak that he couldn't walk without assistance. He lost 25 pounds and it took months for him to fully recover.
"I felt horrible," he told CNN. "It took a serious toll."
His suffering, and that of children currently affected in measles outbreaks in the United States, could have been prevented, he emphasized.
"It makes me so angry. My parents thought they were doing the right thing. They were persuaded by the anti-vaxers," he told CNN.
"The science on this has been settled. It's been solved. When I look at where we are today, with people who are willfully deciding to ignore the facts, it really frustrates me," Nerius said. "I just don't understand the mindset of people who want to spread fear."