Cheryl Cole contracts deadly virus

British pop singer Cheryl Cole is seriously ill in hospital after contracting the deadly malaria virus during a holiday in Tanzania.

Cole, who recently split with her philandering and sex text addicted husband, Chelsea soccer player Ashley Cole, was initially diagnosed with exhaustion after collapsing over the weekend.

She was admitted to a Surrey hospital after her condition worsened considerably the next day.

"Cheryl hadn't been feeling herself for about a week. She was feeling tired and listless. In the end, this must have been the beginnings of the virus," a friend told The Daily Mail.

American dancer Derek Hough, who Cole has been romantically linked to, took her on a surprise holiday to Tanzania at the end of June.

"He’s mortified by what’s happened and is utterly devastated what she’s going through, not least because it happened on a trip he’d planned," a source told The Daily Mail.

She reportedly took a full course of malaria medication, but some strains of the virus are resistant to the drugs.

Cole is currently a host on Britain’s X-Factor, and Simon Cowell has ordered the former Girls Aloud singer to take as much time off as she needs.

"I don't want to see you back until you are well enough. Just rest and concentrate on getting better," Cowell reportedly told her.

Cole is expected to stay in hospital for several days and could take several weeks to recover.

Malaria is transmitted by an infected mosquito, and the disease is contracted by a single bite from an infected mosquito. A preventable infection, malaria can be fatal if left untreated.