FDA, CDC, and the Southern Nevada Health District are investigating reports of acute non-viral hepatitis in the state of Nevada. On March 13, the FDA was alerted to five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis (resulting in acute liver failure) in infants and children that occurred in November 2020. The cases had no known cause reported and were reported to the Southern Nevada Health District. All five patients had been hospitalized but have since recovered.
After investigation, the agencies found that all of the patients were reported to have consumed “Real Water” brand alkaline water. These patients came from four different households. Five additional people—two adults and three children—from two of the four households were reported to have experienced other symptoms as well. Less severe symptoms included fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
The consumption of “Real Water” brand alkaline water is the only common link identified among all of these cases to date, says FDA. This brand of alkaline water is owned by Real Water Inc., which is headquartered in Mesa, Ariz.
Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses. FDA is in the beginning stages of this investigation, and there may be additional products connected to this outbreak.
FDA is recommending 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. These products include but are not limited to: five-gallon containers (sold through home delivery/subscription), bottles (sold online and in stores), and the “Real Water” concentrate (sold online).
The five-gallon containers are delivered to homes in the following areas, according to the firm’s website:
- Honolulu, Hawaii, through Aloha Water;
- Orange County, Calif., through Paradise Bottling Company;
- St. George, Utah, through Real Water Southern Utah;
- Tucson, Ariz., through Aqua Pure; and
- Ventura and Santa Barbara, Calif., through Real Water Gold Coast.
Symptoms of all types of hepatitis, including non-viral hepatitis, are similar and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice.