Barbara Walters to return to 'The View'

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by LAUREN EFFRON

ABC NEWS

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 5:31 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- Barbara Walters returns to "The View" next week after spending more than a month recovering from the chicken pox and a concussion.

"Hello, my darlings," Walters said. "I'm so glad to be talking to you. ... I really miss you."

The veteran ABC News journalist today called into a live taping of "The View" and announced that she would return to moderate the daytime talk show on Monday, March 4.

"Like it or not, I'm coming back on the show again," Walters said. "No more chicken pox. ... I haven't been contagious for a while, but they wanted me to have rest, and I've had enough rest and I'm ready to come back."

Walters, 83, had been absent from "The View" since Jan. 22, when she was first briefly hospitalized after an inauguration weekend fall. Walters announced on the "The View" that she had fainted and hit her head while at the British ambassador's residence, cutting her temple. She was taken to the hospital, where she said she received six stitches.

The following week, on Jan. 28, "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg announced on the show that Walters had been diagnosed with the chicken pox.

"We want to give you an update on Barbara," Goldberg said on "The View" at the time. "You all know that she fell and cut her head 10 days ago, and then was running a temperature, but it turns out it is all the result of a delayed childhood. Barbara has the chicken pox. She'd never had it as a child. So now she's been told to rest. She's not allowed any visitors. and we're telling you, Barbara, no scratching."

Thanks to a vaccine introduced in 1995, chicken pox has become rare among adults. Only one in 10,000 American men and women are diagnosed with chicken pox each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"However, it needs to be taken seriously since adults are at increased risk of complications, including pneumonia, brain inflammation and bacterial skin infections," said ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser. "If you think you never had chicken pox, regardless of your age, see your doctor to talk about whether you should get vaccinated."

Walters, who has interviewed every American president -- and first lady -- since Richard Nixon, joined ABC News in 1976 as the first woman to co-host the network news. She created "The View" and has been an executive producer and a regular co-host on the show since it debuted in 1997.

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