Story at a glance

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it was notified of five cases of acute nonviral hepatitis resulting in acute liver failure in infants and young children that occurred in November 2020.
  • Health authorities say they all consumed the brand of alkaline water, the only common link identified between all five cases to date.
  • The FDA advised consumers, restaurants and retailers to not consume, cook with, sell or serve the bottled water.

Federal health officials are warning people not to drink Real Water brand alkaline water as the product may be linked to liver illness in five children in the Las Vegas-area.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it was notified of five cases of acute nonviral hepatitis resulting in acute liver failure in infants and young children that occurred in November 2020 in the Southern Nevada Health District. The patients from four different households were all hospitalized, but they have since recovered. 


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Health authorities say they all consumed the brand of alkaline water, the only common link identified between all five cases to date. 

“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,” Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA, 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,” Yiannas said. 

Additional people in the patient’s households also reported experiencing less severe symptoms such as fever, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. Nonviral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death. 

The Las Vegas-based bottled water brand on Wednesday said it was proactively taking steps to stop selling and distributing the product throughout the U.S. until the issue is resolved. 

“Our goal is to diligently work with the FDA to achieve a swift resolution,” Real Water said in a statement

“Real Water is asking that all retailers pull the product from the shelf, effective immediately, and hold it in the back rooms or return it to the distributors.”

A family filed a civil lawsuit against the company claiming both a father and son became seriously ill after drinking Real Water. Christopher Wren and his 2-year-old son last year experienced severe liver damage and had to be hospitalized, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal. The child’s mother also became ill but did not require hospitalization, and a daughter who did not drink the water did not become sick.


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Published on Mar 18, 2021