Cheryl Cole out of intensive care

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The Independent Online

Cheryl Cole left intensive care today and has been transferred to a private clinic.

The singer has been battling the potentially deadly disease malaria.

Cole was transferred to University College London Hospital, which is home to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, in the centre of the capital.

A statement issued on Cole's behalf said: "Cheryl Cole today came out of intensive care and has left UCLH.

"She has now been transferred to a private clinic where she will remain for her recovery."

The 27-year-old X-Factor judge contracted malaria on a trip last month to Tanzania - which is home to one of the most dangerous strains of malaria - despite taking tablets.

The singer and close friend Derek Hough spent six days together on Africa's east coast following her split from England footballer Ashley.

Cole, who has been supporting Black Eyed Peas on tour, is reported to have collapsed with suspected gastroenteritis during a photoshoot for her album last Saturday afternoon, when she was initially diagnosed with exhaustion.

But she was rushed to hospital the next day after her symptoms, including a soaring fever, worsened.

The in-demand star already had several work commitments on the near horizon, including next month's V Festival, as well as her X-Factor duties.

The final round of X-Factor auditions kicked off in Manchester today, with guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, of the Pussycat Dolls, standing in for new mother Dannii Minogue, alongside fellow judges Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh.

An excited Scherzinger, wearing an outfit from Victoria Beckham's collection, greeted the audience with: "What's up Manchester!

"Feels like we're about to have a concert. I'm so happy to be here. I'm sorry Cheryl is not with us but she's here in spirit and I will try to hold the girl power down.

"It's such a pleasure to be here. Let's have some fun!"

Malaria is caused by the parasite plasmodium, which is transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitos.

If not treated promptly, it can become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs.

Nine people die on average in the UK each year from malaria. Around 850,000 die annually around the world, mostly pregnant women and children under five in Africa.