The American Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning following reports of severe illness and deaths from chickenpox in children treated with steroids.
Drugs companies manufacturing oral, injected and inhaled steroid products must now add a warning to their product labelling stating the following:
"Children who are on immunosuppressant drugs are more susceptible to infections than healthy children. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in children on immunosuppressant corti costeroids.
"In such children, or in adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure."