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Last Updated: Wednesday July 14 2010 08:16 GMT

Cheryl's 'on the mend' says Simon

Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Cole is "on the mend," her friend Simon Cowell has said.

Cheryl, who's recovering from malaria, is getting better and is looking forward to getting back to work, the X Factor star said.

The pair are known to be good friends, as well as both being judges on the reality TV show. Cheryl's had to miss a lot of work because of her illness.

"I had a text from her yesterday," Simon said on Tuesday night. "She is making a good recovery."

Hospital

Simon Cowell
Simon and Cheryl are good friends

Cheryl had to pull out of the X Factor auditions, and boot camp stage of the show. Simon said he wanted to make sure she didn't come back to work too early and risk getting ill again.

The Girls Aloud singer was released from a London hospital on Friday and moved to a private clinic.

It's thought she caught the disease during a recent trip to Tanzania, in Africa.

Common disease

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and can be deadly, but not if it's caught early like Cheryl's illness was.

Ricky with Ben Major

Ricky finds out more about malaria

Malaria is one of the biggest diseases in the world - it's thought one child dies from it every 30 seconds. It's most common in tropical places, such as Africa, southern Asia and South America.

Recovery

The illness can feel a bit like the flu at first - symptoms include a headache, aching muscles and feeling really tired.

That's followed by a high fever and then chills, every few days. The illness can last up to three weeks.

Every year, around 2,000 people from the UK become infected with malaria when abroad, but if treated early, people can make a full recovery.