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Navy ship arrives in port after collision

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Essex arrived to cheers in San Diego Bay on Thursday, 24 hours after it collided with a refueling tanker in the Pacific when the warship's steering apparently failed.

Families of the ship's crew celebrated as the big ship pulled in.

Andi Farquhr, wife of a 36-year-old sailor, said her husband called her from the ship and said something bad had happened. She said he told her there was a collision but gave no details.

"I'm pretty sure it was scary," Farquhr said.

The Wednesday morning accident between the Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California as the Essex was approaching the Yukon to be refueled, said Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the 3rd Fleet. There were no injuries or fuel spills, military officials said.

The 844-foot-long Essex was carrying 982 crew members and was on its way to San Diego for scheduled maintenance. The Yukon arrived at the Navy base in San Diego Wednesday with its crew of 82.


More prescriptions made electronically

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dropping a paper prescription at the drugstore is becoming old-school: More than a third of the nation's prescriptions now are electronic, according to the latest count.

The government has been pushing doctors to e-prescribe, in part because it can be safer for patients. This year, holdouts will start to see cuts in their Medicare payments.

Thursday's report from Surescripts, the largest network for paperless prescribing, shows more doctors are signing up fast.

At the end of 2011, 36 percent of all prescriptions were electronic -- the doctor wrote it by computer and sent it directly to the pharmacy with the push of a button, the report found. That's up from 22 percent of prescriptions that were paperless a year earlier.

For patients, the convenience is obvious -- shorter drugstore waits. Pharmacists like not having to squint at the doctors' messy handwriting. And computerized ordering systems allow doctors to easily check that a new drug won't interact badly with one the patient's already taking.


New mother infected by flesh-eating virus

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- Days after giving birth to twins, a South Carolina mother has been hospitalized for what doctors said is a rare flesh-eating infection.

Friends of Lana Kuykendall said on NBC's "Today" show Thursday that the 36-year-old mother noticed a spot on the back of her left leg after giving birth to twins last week.

Krissy Davison said Kuykendall first thought she had a blood clot. But the infection known as necrotizing fasciitis began to spread and the young mother has undergone four surgeries. Friends and family are caring for her babies.

Meanwhile, a Georgia graduate student is fighting the same type of infection. Doctors said Aimee Copeland lost a leg and could lose all her fingers from the infection that spread days after she suffered a deep cut while zip-lining.