Many people may be surprised that 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. Implications of sicknesses like the common cold that spread through contact have led to a U.S. economic effect of $25 billion in lost productivity. One of the easiest ways to help prevent the spread of illness is through proper hand hygiene, yet less than one third of U.S. adults report always washing their hands after coughing and sneezing, according to a Harris Interactive study.

To help encourage more frequent hand washing and drying, Georgia-Pacific Professional presents a shareable infographic. Coinciding with The American Cleaning Institute’s International Clean Hands Week, Sept. 16-22, 2012, the infographic tells a cohesive story about hand hygiene deficiencies and solutions in the U.S. and serves as a public reminder to wash.

“Illness prevention through hand hygiene is a crucial subject that needs to be discussed because its impact on public health and business operations is astounding,” states Alex Volpe, vice president and general manager, towel category – Georgia-Pacific Professional. “It is important for consumers, workers and businesses to practice proper hand hygiene and to encourage others to incorporate it into their daily routines. We ask users to share this infographic as a tool to help spread wellness, as we know education can be directly tied to improved hand hygiene practices.”

Along with statistics, the infographic outlines proper hand hygiene techniques as well as the importance of drying with a paper towel in preventing illness transmission.