American broadcaster Barbara Walters's health problems are beginning to mount - she's come down with chickenpox.

The 83 year old fell and cut her forehead in Washington, D.C. on 19 January (13) when she was in town covering U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration celebrations, and she was hospitalised with stitches.

Walters subsequently contracted a low-grade fever, and now she has been dealt another blow after being diagnosed with the highly-contagious viral infection.

On Monday (28Jan13) her co-host on chat show The View, actress Whoopi Goldberg, updated fans on her condition, saying, "You all know that she fell and cut her head 10 days ago, and then was running a temperature, but it turns out that it's all the result of a delayed childhood thing because Barbara has the chickenpox.

"Apparently she'd never had it as a child so now she's being told to rest. She's not allowed any visitors. And we're telling you Barbara, no scratching, because those spots will spread even worse if you scratch them up. We love you, we miss you, we just don't want to hug you."