A teenager in Dallas has died from flu complications, adding to the growing number of flu-related deaths this season.
By all accounts, Teresa 'Reese' Termulo was a healthy, active teenager. She passed away on Friday and it was confirmed on Monday that her death was due to complications from the flu.
The 16-year-old was a junior and member of the Brigade dance team at Bishop Lynch High School.
“We're going to miss seeing her come through the doors,” said Carolyn Lang, Termulo’s dance teacher.
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Lang says Termulo spent summers at Motion, The Studio in Carrollton. Lang is the owner.
“You kind of had to take a step back and like, am I really hearing what I'm hearing about someone who is so young,” Lang said.
The peak of flu season is right around the corner, but numbers are already high.
Doctors say it could be the worst flu season in a decade.
In 2020 alone, at least four deaths have been linked to the flu in Dallas County.
This year, for the first time in nearly three decades, doctors say Influenza B, the hardest on children, is the predominant strain.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting the flu vaccine every fall since the season usually runs October to May.
This year, doctors say the season started early, especially in the south.
"When we started seeing cases of the flu, the flu vaccine for this year was not yet even commercially available,” said Dr. Leron Finger with Children's Hospital New Orleans.
It's unclear if Termulo had a flu shot.
Lang says the illness quickly took a turn for the worse before Termulo died.
“Just hug your loved ones because every day you have with them is a gift and she was definitely a gift even though she was only here 16 years,” Lang said.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Bishop Lynch said:
“It is with profound heartbreak and sadness that we confirm the devastating news of the passing of one of our Bishop Lynch High School juniors, Teresa “Reese” Termulo. Reese passed away Jan. 10, 2020. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out to the family, friends, classmates, and teachers of this beloved student.”
Grief counselors will be available for students and staff throughout the week.
Reese’s funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas. To celebrate Reese’s life, her family has requested people wear pink (Reese’s favorite color) to the service.