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Arizona students create plan of attack in hypothetical Ebola outbreak

In this Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 file photo, Nine-year-old Nowa Paye is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

PHOENIX  — Students from all three of Arizona’s public universities are prepared for an Ebola outbreak, at least hypothetically.

Participants from Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University spent Friday trying to figure out how to best deal with an Ebola outbreak in the state.

They worked together in teams with students from several disciplines including public health, medicine, law, and social work during a mock disaster drill.

“We basically review the logistics of what is going on in addition to what the appropriate resources would be that we would allocate to one particular community as opposed to another (during an Ebola outbreak),” Vlad Semin, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Arizona said.

Semin helped facilitate the interdisciplinary event. He said the goal was to get students to find ways to collaborate across professional lines in tense disaster situations that could occur in their lifetime.

“The outcome is not necessarily trying to solve the outbreak,” he said. “The outcome is all about interprofessional collaboration, working together and hopefully coming to some sort of consensus as far as what those decisions are and why they are being made in the manner that they are being made.”