Jill Moss warns an­i­mal lovers of the MRSA dan­gers lurk­ing in their pets

The Jewish Chronicle - - PEOPLE -

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. www.the­bel­lam­oss foun­da­tion.com

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