Vietnam has confirmed the country's first two cases of Zika virus.

The online Vnexpress newspaper quoted Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long as saying two women, aged 64 and 33, tested positive for the virus.

The two suffer from fevers, rashes and red eyes, it said, adding the younger woman is eight weeks pregnant.

The newspaper said the two were among 1,215 samples taken for testing from suspected cases in 32 provinces throughout the country.

The World Health Organization has said the virus has been reported in 61 countries and territories, mostly in Latin America and Western Pacific region.

Most people who get the virus have no symptoms. Others may suffer from a mild and brief illness, but infections in have been strongly linked to and to potentially devastating birth defects such as babies born with abnormally small heads. That has been common in Brazil.

Vietnamese health officials have called for stronger surveillance to fight the virus and urged people to sleep with mosquito nets.