In May 2016, Joshua Nerius came down with a rash and high fever, and at the time his doctors assumed it was due to a simple infection and prescribed him some antibiotics.
However, when his condition didn't improve, he went to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, to get his symptoms checked out further.
The doctor who saw him told him it looked like he had the measles, and asked if he'd ever been vaccinated. That's when Nerius, 30, sent a text to his mother to check, only to receive a thumbs down emoji in response.
Eventually, he got so sick that he lost 25 pounds in weight, he couldn't walk without assistance, and it took him months to fully recover, reports the
The software producer ddi eventually recovered, but he says he's sharing his message as a warning to others, and to send a message to today's parents that there is 'no excuse' not to get their children vaccinated.
, he explained how he'd caught measles after attending his sister's graduation at the Northern Illinois University College of Business.
I was shaking hands with hundreds of people a day. I wasn't contagious yet, but it's sobering to think if the timing had been just slightly different, how many people I could have infected.
Despite contracting the disease due to his parents refusing to get him vaccinated, Nerius says that he doesn't blame his parents for not vaccinating him in the eighties, because there was no internet and they couldn't double check the information they were given by the anti-vaxxers.
Nerius also said he feels angry when he sees the recent outbreak of measles in Washington reported in the news.
It makes me so angry. My parents thought they were doing the right thing. They were persuaded by the anti-vaxxers.
However, in his opinion, today's parents have 'no excuse'.
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.
I just don't understand the mindset of people who want to spread fear.