Loose Women thrown into chaos as Jane McDonald and Janet Street-Porter hit with virus

Outbreak! Loose Women thrown into chaos as Jane McDonald and Janet Street-Porter hit with virus

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UPDATED:

16:22 GMT, 6 April 2012

They're known for their chaotic behaviour off screen and their raucous interviewing skills.

But now Loose Women has been sent into further chaos after a number of their presenters and production staff have fallen sick with shingles.

Hosts Janet Street-Porter and Jane McDonald were sent home from the set of the ITV1 show this week after contracting the viral disease.

Shingles outbreak: Loose Women has frown into chaos after the presenters and production staff were hit by an outbreak of shingles

Shingles outbreak: Loose Women has been thrown into chaos after the presenters
and production staff were hit by an outbreak of the viral disease

On Wednesday, 65-year-old Janet had to drop out of the programme with just minutes to go before going on air after coming down with the virus, which is a reactivation of chickenpox and causes painful rashes.

And the following day Jane also fell ill with the same symptoms and was sent home, the Mirror has reported.

As a stand in, Claire Sweeney was drafted in to cover the stars as she appeared alongside Carol Vorderman, Lisa Maxwell and Jenny Eclair, while they interviewed stars including Peter Andre.

Fallen sick: Presenters Jane McDonald, Andrea McLean and Janet Street-Porter have all reportedly fallen ill with the virus

Fallen sick: Presenters Jane McDonald, Andrea McLean and Janet Street-Porter have all reportedly fallen ill with the virus

Fallen sick: Presenters Jane McDonald, Andrea McLean and Janet Street-Porter have all reportedly fallen ill with the virus

An ITV spokesperson told the Mail Online: 'There have been cases of chickenpox and shingles reported within the Loose Women production team.

'We have discussed this with our on-site occupational health team and will obviously be monitoring the situation.'

Filling in: Claire Sweeney stood in for the presenters when they fell sick with the virus on Thursday's show, when they were joined by Peter Andre in the studio

Filling in: Claire Sweeney stood in for the presenters when they fell sick with the virus on Thursday's show, when they were joined by Peter Andre in the studio

Andrea McLean was also off sick with the virus recently, while an executive producer on the programme is also said to have been signed off for two weeks after contracting chicken pox.

The outbreak has caused fears for the show and TV bosses are seeking medical advice on how to prevent any more cases to stop any further disruption.