A Measles Story

Three years ago, Joshua, a 30-year-old living in Chicago, developed a high fever and a rash. His doctors prescribed antibiotics, but he just got sicker. Joshua went to the emergency room, where a doctor said it looked like measles and asked him if he was vaccinated as a child. Joshua texted his mother the question who sent back a “thumbs-down”.

Joshua ended up in an isolation room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He became so weak that at one point that he couldn’t walk without assistance. He lost 25 pounds, and it took him months to fully recover.

Joshua, who grew up in the 80s without the Internet, doesn’t blame his parents.  He says they were believers in alternative medicine and couldn’t go online to check what they they were being told. “It makes me so angry. My parents thought they were doing the right thing. They were persuaded by the anti-vaxers.”

Josh got measles in May 2016 at his sister’s graduation from the Northern Illinois University College of Business. The source of his measles was later determined by the Illinois Department of Health. It was spread by a guest who traveled to the graduation from outside the United States and had the measles.

Read Josh’s story featured in CNN’s article, “Anti-vaxers Adult Son Gets Measles; Now, He Has This Message for the World.”

Learn more about measles and the MMR vaccine.



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