FAQ: Non-viral Hepatitis Linked to “Real Water” Brand Alkaline Water

What type of water has been linked to the people who got sick?

To date, Real Water brand of alkaline water has been found to be the only common link identified between all the cases. The FDA is conducting a further investigation of the facility, and the Health District is continuing to monitor for cases of acute non-viral hepatitis.

Are other brands implicated?

At this time the Health District does not have evidence that other brands of alkaline or bottled water are affected.

What is acute non-viral hepatitis?

Acute non-viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by exposure to some medications, drugs, alcohol, and toxins. It can also be caused by autoimmune disease. Though hepatitis can have many causes, symptoms are often the same and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and yellow skin or eyes. If you are currently experiencing these symptoms or have other symptoms that concern you, contact your health care provider to report your symptoms and receive care.

I drank Real Water and experienced these symptoms? What should I do?

If you are currently experiencing symptoms or feeling ill, you should contact your health care provider. If you experienced symptoms after drinking Real Water, the Health District has set up a survey for people to report to the Health District.

What is alkaline water? Is it safe to drink?

Water that is bottled and sold as alkaline water is subject to regulation by the FDA. The pH level is used to describe how acidic or alkaline a substance is on a scale of 0-14. Regular drinking water has a pH close to 7. Alkaline drinking water often contains additives which increase the pH. Something is defined as alkaline if it has a pH higher than 7. There are health claims associated with alkaline water. However, there are no clear scientific benefits of drinking alkaline water.

What are the recommendations for the public?

The Health District is advising that people should not drink Real Water alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses. Restaurants and retailers should not serve, cook with or sell Real Water alkaline water. Additionally, this product should not be given to pets.

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