First a drought, now California is dealing with another widespread crisis, the flu.
State health officials confirmed the state is now in a flu epidemic, as deaths continue to climb.
The California Department of Public Health has confirmed 147 people statewide died from the flu, and they are investigating another 44 deaths.
For comparison, last year at this time there were only 14 flu-related deaths.
Doctors from the health department said four of the deaths were children.
They say because of the increasing number of deaths and those seeking treatment in hospitals, across the whole state, the situation meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of an epidemic.
Doctors remind everyone there is still flu vaccine available, and they say it is the best defense to fight flu.