California's flu death total has risen dramatically. The numbers are up 50 percent from last week.

The California Department of Public Health says 52 more deaths last week have pushed the state's death total to 147.

"I also want to note that an additional 44 deaths are currently being investigated by us. We expect the number of influenza deaths to continue to climb," Dr. James Watt said today in a news conference. 

Watt says the great majority of deaths have occured in people with underlying medical conditions.

"People who are at increased risk for severe influenza and death, include: young children, persons over age 65, pregnant women, persons who are obese and persons with chronic health conditions," he said. 

The 18 deaths now reported in the Sacramento jurisdiction are second only to those confirmed in Los Angeles.

The California flu death toll has taken another tragic jump.

CDPH Director Dr. Ron Chapman urges everyone to get a flu shot.