FDA Warns Against Drinking an Alkaline Water Brand Linked to Acute Non-Viral Hepatitis in 5 Children, Babies

The Food and Drug Administration has launched an investigation of an alkaline water brand after it has been linked to non-viral hepatitis in five children.

The company is also warning consumers to "not consume, cook with, sell or serve" the brand, Real Water.

"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," Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for Food Policy and Response, began in a press release.

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Yiannas added, "Upon learning about reports of acute non-viral hepatitis in Nevada, impacting five young children, the FDA quickly activated a team to further investigate. We are working closely with the CDC, state and local partners to complete our investigation and monitor for any additional illnesses."

In the statement, the FDA revealed that on March 13 they were made aware of the five cases that resulted in the illness of children and infants.

Acute non-viral hepatitis causes "acute liver failure," the health organization noted.

Those five patients were hospitalized and have since recovered.

The only link between the patients – from four different households – was Real Water.

In a statement obtained by KTLA, the president of Real Water, Brent Jones, asked for stores to stop selling Real Water "throughout the United States until the issue is resolved." 

"Our goal is to diligently work with the FDA to achieve a swift resolution," Jones said in his 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," Jones added. "Any customer who has purchased Real Water from a retailer is asked to return the product."

The FDA noted that other people in the households reported "less severe symptoms" of "fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue."

Real Water did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request to comment.

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On the Real Water website, it says the brand "is a premium, drinking water with 9.0 pH that utilizes the proprietary E2 Technology, making it the only drinking water on the market that can maintain a stable negative (-) ionization."

"Since Real Water is alkaline with a 9.0 pH and negative ionized, it can help your body to restore balance and reach your full potential!" the website adds. 

According to the FDA's warning, "Health-related statements made by the firm have not been evaluated by the FDA."

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