What was our Ancestors’ Cause of Death ? – Fraisen (infantile convulsions)

„Da krieg’ i ja die Pockerlfras!”

This is an old Austrian saying used when someone is very agitated and starts trembling because of fury.

The word “Pockerlfras” includes the cause of death of many infants in previous centuries: Fraisen (also known as Fraißen, Fraser or Freisen) which were infantile convulsions.

Origin of the term

The word Fraisen derives from the Middle High German term “vreise”, meaning anxiety, fury or horror. (1)

(“Pockerl” is an old Viennese term for turkey, by the way.)

Fraisen was used as for all infant diseases involving convulsions. (2)

Disease Pattern and Cause

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