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Possible Duplicate:
How do I rebuild a corrupt dpkg status file?

I just discovered that /var/lib/dpkg/status is corrupted (details):

$ sudo dpkg --audit
dpkg: parse error, in file `/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 1888 package `libssl0.9.8':
 field name `' must be followed by colon

Its backup does not appear to be corrupted, but it is outdated and I'm not sure what the consequences of reverting to an earlier version are.

What is the safest way to fix this?

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