Trekking in Nepal: safety precautions

If I come to Nepal about which I have heard so many good things, it is to trek. I love the mountains and I want to see the Annapurna region in particular. Can anyone guide me or advise me on how to go - , most probably in a group, no? This is because I want to feel safe. Personal safety is now very much on my mind after a nepali friend who does treks/hotel reservations just phoned me in Europe to say that two foreigner girls were missing in Nepal, one just in the last few days (apparently on a 7 day trek to or from Annapurna Base camp)  and a second girl, I understand she was malaysian but again, the  incident apparently took place in the same region about 5-6 months ago. That girl is apparently still missing.
I do hope and pray that both girls will be found very soon, because my friend did say that the nepalis were doing everything they could to find these two missing trekkers.
I hope these are isolated cases, but then my friend told me to read the HimalayanTimes which I did on  There, online,  I found the article he was talking about (July 25th, 2016 issue, page 5) and I must admit I got a bit scared because the article said that - (quote) - "according to data at the ministry of culture, tourism and civil aviation, 400 tourists on average go missing and die every year." 
Is this a typographical error ? or is it possible that the quote was taken out of context, in this newspaper which is said to be no. 1 in the country, with a solid reputation of  reporting most reliable information,  I am told by people who read it  in Nepal?
I am still positive on coming to visit and trek, but I have to admit that this report, if correct, is a bit disconcerting to me personally.  To be reassured, I very much hope other trekkers can write in and tell me about their uneventful experiences in that region, and the country in general?

let me hear from you all! and share your experiences with me, hopefully before I plan my next trekking trip.

What many people coming to Nepal seem to forget is that this is the Himalayas, not an amusement park. I recently wrote a blog post. Actually, I posted it after reading your questions. We had one guest who walked to the trekking route from our guest house and didn't bother to take sunglasses or sunscreen. Others wrap duct tape around a walking stick in case their shoes come apart while trekking.

My best tip for staying safe is to either hire a trekking company or at least take a licened free-lance guide. Imagine getting into trouble on the trek, and your friends all ask you about it. After the long story, your friend looks at you and asks, "Why didn't you hire a guide? I hear you can find a trekking guide for just a small amount over European prices." How would you answer?

Hope you have a wonderful time in Nepal. It really is a safe country. The police are respectful and the people are kind. People come to Nepal for the mountains, but fall in love with the people.

Here's my blog post. Please comment and share.

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