Cheryl Cole has shown she is getting back on track by stepping out in public for the first time since being struck down with malaria.

The 27-year-old X Factor judge was spotted smiling as she took a brief trip to a coffee shop near Guildford in Surrey. Cheryl, dressed casually in a slouchy white top with jeans and flipflops, is said to have waved at well-wishers.

Her spokesman declined to comment on pictures of the Girls Aloud star visiting the coffee shop, which has appeared in various newspapers.

Cheryl has spent weeks working her way back to health after contracting the disease on a trip to Tanzania.

Her illness has forced her to pull out of some of her X Factor judging duties, and the show’s supremo Simon Cowell has said he does not want her to return too early and risk becoming ill again.

Simon said earlier this month: “She is on the mend and looking forward to coming back to work. She is making a good recovery.”

Cheryl was reported to have collapsed during a photoshoot for her album on July 3 and was initially diagnosed with exhaustion.

She was taken to hospital the next day after her symptoms, including a soaring fever, worsened. The singer’s treatment has included a spell in intensive care at University College London Hospital, home to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Cheryl spent six days in Tanzania, on Africa’s east coast, with close friend Derek Hough following her split from England footballer Ashley.