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Wednesday 27th May 2020

Coronavirus: French schoolgirl, 16, youngest victim to die in Europe

She first had a 'slight cough' a week ago

A 16-year-old girl in France has become the youngest victim in Europe to have been killed by coronavirus.

Identified only as 'Julie A", the schoolgirl succumbed to respiratory problems on Wednesday night at a hospital in Paris.

Coronavirus was thought initially to be unlikely to be fatal in young people who had no medical conditions.

Read more: 7 huge  coronavirus rumours cleared up by Dr Hilary Jones on Good Morning Britain

French president Emmanuel Macron has warned the coronavirus crisis poses a threat to the European Union (Credit: Splash News)

Julie A's first signs of the illness were a "slight cough" which she noticed a week ago.

Her heartbroken sister Manon issued a warning to others that COVID-19 can kill young people as well as older patients with underlying health problems.

Her lungs failed. The doctors did everything they could but it was impossible to wake her up.

She said: "We must stop believing that this virus only affects the elderly."

"No one is invincible against this mutant virus.

All of France has been put onto a lockdown (Credit: Splash News)

"Julie just had a slight cough last week. It got worse last weekend with mucus and on Monday we went to see a general practitioner.

"It was there that she was diagnosed with respiratory distress. She had no particular illnesses before this."

Manon, from Longjumeau, south of Paris, where Julie lived with her family, said she had agreed to speak to the Parisian newspaper to warn others that young people are not invincible when it comes to coronavirus.

She said that her sister, a high school student, was first rushed to a local doctor on Tuesday before being rushed to Necker hospital.

The virus had previously been thought not to be fatal for young people (Credit: Splash News)

Manon added: “Her lungs failed. The doctors did everything they could but it was impossible to wake her up."

She arrived with her mother just after Julie's death. "It was violent," she said.

"We had time to see her, but we quickly had to think about the future."

The 16-year-old's funeral will take place on Monday in her hometown, but it will only be attended by"ten people maximum".

Manon said Julie was "bright and much loved" and "loved to dance, sing, and make people laugh".

On Thursday, French authorities said 365 people had been killed by COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, taking the national death toll to 1,696.

President Macron has pledged a massive investment in hospitals in France, and has deployed the military to help with the healthcare and logistics effort.

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