A member of the University of Oregon’s acrobatics and tumbling team died after requiring medical attention.

Lauren Jones, an 18-year-old freshman from Lithonia, Georgia, died Tuesday afternoon. Jones lived on campus, and an ambulance was called to her residence hall, but no other details were available, school spokeswoman Julie Brown said.

Lane County Public Health officials are investigating whether an outbreak of meningococcemia meningitis, which has hospitalized three students, was related, Brown said. Meningococcemia is a rare infectious disease that can be life-threatening. 

Brown said the university is reaching out to other athletes and residents of Jones’ hall. Those who meet certain criteria will be offered antibiotics.

Two students at the University of Oregon have died after contracting meningococcemia, in 2001 and 2012. With the recent outbreak, university officials have offered antibiotics to students. The university’s website lists meningitis as one of six diseases that the school recommends being vaccinated for.

Jones is a 2014 graduate of Dekalb High School in Lithonia, where she was captain of the gymnastics and competitive cheerleading teams.

“This is a terrible and sudden loss for our whole Oregon community, as well our acrobatics and tumbling team family,” Oregon coach Chelsea Shaw said in a statement from the school. “Lauren was such a positive and bright spirit every day, and her smile was contagious. She will be greatly missed and our prayers and deepest condolences go out to her whole family, friends, previous teammates and anyone else who had the opportunity to know Lauren.”

— Mike Tokito

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