Federal health officials: Puerto Rico has had record number of dengue deaths so far in 2010

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Health officials say a record number of people have died from dengue so far this year in Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a statement that 20 people have died from the mosquito-born virus in the U.S. Caribbean territory.

Center officials are investigating at least another dozen deaths possibly caused by the virus and more than 11,600 suspected cases. They also have confirmed 28 cases of the more serious hemorrhagic dengue.

In 1998, the virus killed 19 people and sickened 17,000.

Several other Caribbean islands have declared a dengue epidemic, with more than 80,000 cases reported in the region.

The CDC issued its statement Friday.