Coronavirus facts, vaccination rates falling short: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

Passengers wear masks as they arrive at the international arrivals area at the Vancouver International Airport on Thursday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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What you need to know about the new coronavirus

Many of us have lots of questions about the new coronavirus outbreak, especially after Canada confirmed its first "presumptive" case on Saturday. Airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal all have direct flights from China (where the virus originated), so passengers are being screened. How is it diagnosed? Do masks help? Here are some basic facts about the virus, its symptoms, prevention and what to do if you think you're infected.

Medical staff at the Jinyintan hospital, where the patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, China (Reuters)

Vaccine rates for kids falling short

None of our national vaccination goals were met in any of the age groups surveyed in 2017 by the Public Health Agency of Canada. That's worrying, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, because it leaves the community open to disease and outbreak. Last week, Marketplace reported on the rise of vaccine-hesitant parents and the anti-vaxx movement.

Producers head undercover at one of the movement's biggest rallies and exclusive VIP event in Washington D.C. to reveal the business behind the false claims. 22:30

Why this doctor wants focus of cancer research to switch to early detection

Dr. Azra Raza, a leading oncologist, says the current focus on cancer treatment, instead of early detection, is "embarrassing." She says much of the money spent on research for drug trials that are often quite painful for patients should switch to early detection instead. She wants more funding go toward developing tests to find "the presence of cancer in any secretion through a liquid biopsy: blood, sweat, saliva, tears, urine."

Dr. Azra Raza has worked as an oncologist for decades and wants to see a change in how we fight cancer. (Chad Hunt; Submitted by HBG Canada)

Food insecurity leading to earlier deaths, study finds

Having inadequate access to food due to financial constraints can have a negative effect on your health, according to a Canadian Medical Association study. An estimated four million Canadians live in homes that meet this criteria and, in absolute terms, the study found that being food insecure took nine years off a person's lifespan. But experts say there is hope: Reversing malnutrition by shoring up food security improves health dramatically. 

Reversing malnutrition by shoring up food security improves health dramatically. (Shutterstock)

What else is going on?

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos was hacked. The recent revelation that Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos fell victim to smartphone hacking — allegedly involving Saudi Arabia's crown prince — has cast a light on the shadowy world of cyberweapon sales.

Illegal cannabis prices are down, Statistics Canada finds. The gap between what Canadians pay for legal and illicit cannabis is widening — a sign experts say points to the need for the marijuana industry to make prices a priority this year.

Online government survey on medical aid in dying sees record-breaking response. By Wednesday evening, 229,281 Canadians had responded to the government's survey, which has been online for just a week and a half.

Boeing CEO says company won't scrap 737 Max. CEO Dave Calhoun said the company isn't considering scrapping the Max and expects it will continue to fly for a generation.

The latest in recalls

  • Two different air bag glitches have forced Toyota and Honda to recall over six million vehicles worldwide.
  • This baby seat for bicycles has been recalled due to a fall hazard.
  • This power bank might be a fire hazard.
  • This Winnie the Pooh toy might be a choking hazard.
  • This iced tea has been recalled due to mould.

Next week: We investigate car rentals

Three cars, three producers wearing hidden cameras, and one car rental company with a long history of complaints and overcharging. What happens when we send in our Marketplace team and some savvy consumers to fight back against those extra fees?

Plus, we speak with experts to find out what consumers need to know before renting a car. We'll answer your questions about insurance, vehicle inspections, and how you can avoid hidden fees. 

That's next week on your Marketplace, and in the meantime, you can catch up on any of our previous episodes on CBC-TV, Gem, or YouTube.

-The Marketplace team