Healthcare staff should warn pregnant women who have not had chicken pox not to expose themselves to the condition.
Updated guidelines from The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynnaecologists (RCOG) say that women should be asked about their history with the illness when booking antenatal care.
The condition complicates three in every 1,000 pregnancies although most women will have contracted the disease in childhood and so already have the required antibodies.
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