Sabres defencemen may have been exposed to SARS

Two Buffalo Sabres defencemen are under observation after having limited exposure to the potentially deadly respiratory illness, SARS.

Rhett Warrener and Brian Campbell did not travel with the team for their Saturday night game in Carolina.

Sabres spokesman Mike Gilbert said the decision was merely a precaution and that neither players showed signs of being infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

The decision to hold the defencemen back came after team doctors consulted with Eric County and New York state health officials.

The players had limited exposure to the virus after Campbell's relative visited them earlier this week.

The relative lives in Toronto and has been diagnosed with SARS symptoms. Campbell and Warrener are roommates.

The virus has shut down two Toronto-area hospitals and thousands more have been quarantined.

Hong Kong now has reported 45 cases of SARS. The respiratory disease has killed 12 people in the island country already and sickened 470.

Possible symptoms of the disease include unexplained high fever, difficult breathing combined with a headache, muscle stiffness, confusion, rash and diarrhea.