Test results to determine if Dallas teen’s death was flu-related could take several weeks

It could be several weeks before the Dallas County medical examiner learns what caused the death of a 16-year-old Bishop Lynch High School student.

Reese Termulo was a junior and member of the school's drill and dance team. The medical examiner is trying to determine if her death was caused by the flu.

Reese’s death has prompted support throughout a network of catholic schools.

“Monday coming back to the start of the school week, it’s sad. It’s a somber time. There is grief,” said Bishop Lynch High School President Chris Rebuck. “John Paul the Second in Plano shared a counselor with us. She’s here on staff today helping with our counselors doing some grief counseling as well as Bishop Dunn’s chaplain.”

The emotional needs are being met as county medical officials are working to confirm an official cause of death.

Dallas County Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Phil Huang says currently Reese’s case is a possible flu death. He explains that in and of itself means she had tested positive for the virus before she passed away.

Reese’s family has indicated she was home when she died on Friday.

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“If a patient is in the hospital and has the full workup and everything consistent with flu, a determination can be made more quickly,” Huang said. “If the death occurs outside of the hospital setting, then we are awaiting the report from the medical examiner’s office.”

Dr. Huang reiterates how important it is for anyone who hasn’t already to get a flu shot. He says it’s the best protection against the virus.

While at Bishop Lynch High, Reese’s life is now a celebration of everything she meant to so many.

“One of the things we’ve encouraged students to do and faculty is to share stories about her and talk about her life,” Rebuck said. “She was such an incredibly genuine person just filled with kindness and love. She was a beacon of warmth that attracted many people to her.”