The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink bottled alkaline water from a company called “Real Water.” The agency says it’s currently investigating several cases of hepatitis among children in the Las Vegas area where a common link is the consumption of “Real Water” brand water.
“We are advising consumers, restaurants and retailers to not consume, cook with, sell or serve ‘Real Water’ alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses,” the agency said in a statement.
“We are working to determine how the alkaline water may be related to the illnesses. Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses.”
The five pediatric patients who developed non-viral hepatitis after drinking the product were all hospitalized with acute liver failure but have since recovered.
The FDA said additional members of the patients’ households (four separate families) reported having experienced less severe symptoms of hepatitis, including fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
All of the patients and their household members said they consumed “Real Water” brand alkaline water prior to becoming ill. The agency said it was alerted to the five cases that required hospitalization on March 13. The illnesses occurred in November 2020.
Although the investigation is ongoing, the FDA said “epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses.” Officials say it’s possible that more products are connected to this outbreak, and additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.