Pet-owners, take note. Your furry friend could be carrying the superbug MRSA. This is the message from North London’s Jill Moss, who contracted the human strain of the serious drug-resistant bacteria from her dog Bella, who died from the disease.
Since Bella’s death in 2004, Miss Moss — a former actress — has collected more than £100,000 to help raise awareness of MRSA and other infections that affect both humans and animals. She set up the Bella Moss Foundation, launched as a registered charity, at Crufts last month. “People don’t understand that pets can get MRSA, just as humans can,” Miss Moss, 35, tells People. “The same strain of the infection can be passed from humans to animals and from animals to humans.”
Miss Moss contracted the infection while nursing Bella. “The experience made me re-evaluate where I was in life. There was a lack of information for pet owners or vets and many people are still unaware of the things they can do to protect their pets from MRSA.” Things to look for in your pet? Inflammation from a wound, raised temperature, repeated skin infection, loss of appetite, extreme lethargy and depressed demeanour.
The foundation is sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and insurers Pet Plan.
Miss Moss is a member of Edgware Reform Synagogue.