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FDA investigates alkaline water brand after 5 children hospitalized

The FDA said five children had acute non-viral hepatitis in November 2020 after drinking Real Water alkaline water.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday said it was investigating after five children were hospitalized with acute non-viral hepatitis from Real Water brand alkaline water.

All five cases were reported in the state of Nevada in November of 2020.

The FDA said that the reports of non-viral hepatitis caused acute liver failure. The agency added that all five patients were hospitalized, but have since recovered. Real Water alkaline water was the only common link between the five cases.

In addition to the five hospitalizations, five others reportedly had less severe symptoms as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Southern Nevada Health District are also investigating the cases.

“The FDA is committed to protecting the health of Americans and is especially concerned when there is a food safety issue impacting our youngest, and some of the most vulnerable in the population – infants and young children," said Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, said in a statement. "Upon learning about reports of acute non-viral hepatitis in Nevada, impacting five young children, the FDA quickly activated a team to further investigate."

Officials said that although the investigation is still ongoing, epidemiologic information indicates that the alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses.

The FDA recommends that consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not drink, cook with, sell, or serve Real Water alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses.

Credit: FDA
Investigation of Acute Non-viral Hepatitis Illnesses – “Real Water” Brand Alkaline Water

The FDA says symptoms of hepatitis, including non-viral hepatitis, include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay or gray-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Yellow eyes
  • Jaundice

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor.

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