[Question] Will COVID-19 survivors suffer lasting disability at a high rate?

The case fatal­ity rate of 2019-nCoV (aka Coron­avirus, COVID-19) is still un­cer­tain, with es­ti­mates float­ing around rang­ing from 0.16%-5.7%, higher among the el­derly and peo­ple with pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, and lower among ev­ery­one else. How­ever, the death rate doesn’t cap­ture all of the harms from in­fec­tion. There is also time lost dur­ing the in­fec­tion and re­cov­ery, there is the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­cel­er­ated ag­ing, and there is the pos­si­bil­ity of long-term non­fatal dis­abil­ity, such as chronic fa­tigue.

Since 2019-nCoV has only ex­isted for about two months, there is no data on the long-term out­comes of its sur­vivors. How­ever, the rate of last­ing dis­abil­ity among sur­vivors is im­por­tant for de­cid­ing what re­sponses are ap­pro­pri­ate. I’m par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in es­ti­mat­ing the risk of chronic fa­tigue from nCoV in­fec­tion. If that risk is high, this would greatly in­crease the im­por­tance of avoid­ing it per­son­ally and of sup­press­ing it in com­mu­ni­ties of peo­ple do­ing im­por­tant work, and would also greatly in­crease the ex­pected eco­nomic im­pact.

As a start­ing point, I chose a similar but more se­vere virus, SARS, which was suc­cess­fully con­tained in 2003. Out of 208 Cana­dian sur­vivors of SARS, 22 (10%) ap­pear in this study of sub­jects “who re­mained un­able to re­turn to their former oc­cu­pa­tion” with “clini­cal similar­i­ties to pa­tients with fibromyal­gia syn­drome”. This im­plies a high lower bound on the rate of dis­abil­ity among SARS sur­vivors. How­ever, this is only one virus, and may not be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of se­vere res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses.

Good an­swers to this ques­tion would be:

  • Papers es­ti­mat­ing the rates of postviral fa­tigue from other viruses, es­pe­cially res­pi­ra­tory viruses, viruses with sever­ity com­pa­rable to 2019-nCoV, and among non-el­derly patients

  • Models of postviral fa­tigue and how they re­late to 2019-nCoV

  • Data on whether and how much lung dam­age from non-viral sources causes chronic fatigue

  • Early data on 2019-nCoV which bears on this question

Any re­search help on this ques­tion is greatly ap­pre­ci­ated, even if it pro­vides only a bit of in­for­ma­tion about a small cor­ner of the prob­lem, or re­ports that a strat­egy for an­swer­ing the ques­tion failed to pan out.