Sars quarantine ending for HP workers

The Sars-related quarantine that began a week ago for about 200 Hewlett-Packard workers has been lifted as some employees were...

The Sars-related quarantine that began a week ago for about 200 Hewlett-Packard workers has been lifted as some employees were allowed to return to their jobs.

HP Canada said 102 of its staff and about 95 contract workers in a Toronto IT services facility were being notified on an individual basis whether they could return to their offices.

The workers were placed on in-home quarantines last week after two workers came down with symptoms produced by the Sars, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, virus, which has been spreading around the world.

The company said the quarantine is being lifted gradually by the York Region Health Services Department, which is advising HP on how to deal with the health issues.

HP was able to keep the facility open during the quarantine by using staff from other facilities and workers who were not present when the ill employees were in the building.

Sars is a flu-like illness that was first identified in humans in Vietnam in February, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has issued a series of alerts to track the illness. So far, 3,169 cases of Sars including 144 deaths, have been reported to WHO from 21 countries.

Symptoms of Sars include a high fever and one or more respiratory problems, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

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