Vomit and Blood in the Pool

Image of a clean pool

Check for existing guidelines from your local or state regulatory agency before using this document. These recommendations do not replace existing state or local regulations or guidelines.

People often vomit in pools from accidentally swallowing pool water while swimming. If a person swallows pool water and throws it up, it is unlikely to spread illness. However, if they throw up more than just pool water—like previously eaten food—into the pool, aquatic staff should act immediately to clean it up.

Responding to vomit in the pool

Respond to vomit as you would to poop in the pool. Aquatic staff can follow CDC’s Fecal Incident Response Recommendations for Pool Staff to disinfect potentially infectious vomit. The germs most likely to be spread by vomit are noroviruses.

Responding to blood in the pool

Chlorine kills germs found in blood (such as hepatitis B and HIV). CDC is not aware of any instances in which a person has become infected with bloodborne germs after being exposed to a blood spill in a pool.

While there is no public health reason to recommend closing the pool after a blood spill, some aquatic staff choose to do so temporarily.

Page last reviewed: June 5, 2020